Commentary on the Gospel of
The Good vs The Best
As the saying goes, the good can be the enemy of the best. It applies to our spiritual intentions as well. Mystics often warn us to be on guard against devil presenting itself as an angel of light, offering us good inspirations which seem to lead us in God’s ways, but actually take us away from God. When Saul captured the best of oxen and sheep from the Amalekites, it was with the noble intention of sacrificing them to the Lord in thanksgiving. But as Samuel points out to him, obedience is far greater and nobler than sacrifice. The Gospel resonates with similar insight too: Neither fasting nor feasting has any merit of its own; they carry relevance only in reference to God. If one’s austerities serve to take one away from God and one’s neighbor, they endanger the soul. Lord, give us this day our daily bread of discernment of Your Will.