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19th January 2021, 


Heb 6: 10-20

Ps 111: 1-2, 4-5, 9-10

Mk 2: 23-28


The Pharisees tried to find fault with Jesus at every opportunity they got. Today, we find them attacking him on matters concerning the Sabbath law. Jesus tries to explain to them that man is of primary importance in the sight of God, and the Sabbath is only a means of building a better relationship with the Holy One. He tries to show them how wrong they were in judging him based on mere observance of the rubrics of the laws and traditions, without taking into account the compassion and mercy behind his actions. It is this preoccupation of theirs with the law that made them so unbearable and cruel.

Today’s Gospel reminds that love is the basis of all law, and surpasses it in worth and value. Therefore, laws often allow exceptions. Jesus, in his effort to open the eyes and hearts of the Pharisees, cites an example – of David and his men. The consecrated bread consisted of 12 loaves placed on the golden table outside the most holy place in the Tent of Meeting. It was an offering to God, and only the high priest and his sons could eat it (cf Lev 24:5-9). However, when nothing was available, David and his companions helped themselves to it. Laws are there to make life beautiful and meaningful, not burdensome.

This passage is a reminder of the importance of the human person over and above the set of laws that regulate the various aspects of life. We can know how much we love God just by the way we treat people. God is love, and if we love him, then, like him, we too must be more loving, merciful and understanding, rather than judgmental, unsympathetic and fault-finding. Let us learn to rise above the petty calculations of procedures and rituals to concentrate on learning to be more loving to everyone, especially those that need our care and concern. Said St Therese of Lisieux: “Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”

Responsorial Psalm: The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind.

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