Commentary on the Gospel of
Today's reading from Luke pits Jesus and his disciples against the legalistic Pharisees who see them violating the laws of the sabbath. In reading this account, we know we should 'root' for Jesus and his disciples. Even so, this interaction prompts me to reflect on the dimensions of our Catholic faith. Which 'side' in this account do Catholics resemble today? Are we the ones who accuse others of breaking the rules? Or, are we the ones who, though knowing and weighing the rules, discern how we're called by God to respond to each unique moment placed before us?
I think the answer to the above question is: we Catholics resemble both sides - and everywhere in between. The laws governing the sabbath were prescribed by God. Is it not reasonable for the Pharisees to uphold these? And yet, is it not also reasonable for the disciples, in their hunger, to pick and eat grain though they are doing so on the sabbath? The notes on Luke 6:1-11 state: In his defense of his disciples' conduct...Jesus argues that satisfying human needs such as hunger and performing works of mercy take precedence even over the sacred sabbath rest.
So, is Jesus disregarding the law? Quite the opposite. Jesus is elevating our understanding of the law. For proof of this, see Luke 10:25-28. ?From the beginning, God has endowed human beings with a conscience. We are meant to form our consciences and use them to discern how best in each and every moment of our lives to adhere ourselves to God; to do his will; to love. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts. (Jeremiah 31:33)
As we live this day and every day, let us trust in God. Let us look inward and read what God has written on our own hearts so that we may never stray from his path.