Commentary on the Gospel of
Tuesday Week 2, ordinary time
Mk 2:23-28 Law serves to preserve human life
- Sabbath day
- Spirit of the law
- Lord of the Sabbath
Sabbath law is meant to regulate one’s involvement in work-related activities and other concerns for the single purpose of availing the person quality time to be with God, who, after creating the world rested on the sabbath. We are co-creators with God through our accomplishments, and so, we observe the sacred day in worship of the Lord of the Sabbath, rather than continue working.
In general, the law facilitates our ‘relational well-being’ with each other, and this underscores the spirit of the law. In today’s Gospel passage, we encounter grown up men, adults, the disciples pluck heads of grain, rob them on their two palms and consume! What could have been practiced by little children!! One message stands out: Jesus’ men are desperately hungry!!!
This experience rings a bell: one can go hungry while with the Ultimate Provider, Jesus the Lord. They do not ask him for a miracle! Instead, they resort to self-help! This was credible enough!! Then the interpreters of the Law intervene. Our Lord uses the opportunity to re-focus us on the sacredness of human life, which the law is meant to serve. Hunger needs to be arrested because it can stunt one’s functionality: physically, the energy level goes down; emotionally, the person is flooded with worries about getting what to eat and fear of possible death-threat; spiritually, one is deeply distracted and unable to concentrate. We need intervention ‘human and divine.’
Upon improvising something as the disciples did with the heads of grain, God’s intervention brings new insights into the hunger-provoked experience: the law serves to preserve human dignity. O God, help us by your grace to always promote in one another healthy, salvific human-focused projects through Christ our Lord, amen.