SATURDAY, TWENTY SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Col 1: 21-23; Ps 54: 3-4, 6, 8; Lk 6: 1-5
RIGIDITY BREEDS STAGNATION
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3). Among the many good things that children have naturally, is their ability to be flexible. As we grow older we tend to become more and more rigid and set in our ways. Our habits become almost unbreakable. Any person or thing that might disturb our routine is perceived as a threat. Thus, we become hostile to change because we are entangled in the laws of functional fixity and structural rigidity. But children aren’t like that. They are free from such mental constraints. They get a thrill in the smallest surprise and are left with a sense of wonder as the events of life unfold spontaneously.
Laws are good and essential in a civilized society. But much rigidity in the enforcement of rules restricts creativity and retards growth as the best business firms assert. Sadly, we are often so busy meticulously following the letter of the law that the spirit of the law or the very purpose of the law goes for a toss. The Pharisees at the time of Jesus stand witness to this fact. The fourth commandment – “Honour the Sabbath” – was given by Moses for the good of the people. Paradoxically, the scrupulous teachers of the law made this very commandment a yoke too heavy to bear. Therefore, Jesus rebuked them saying, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). He summed up all the commandments in just one word, ‘love’.
The next time you find yourself getting stuck in a rut, embrace change. Find delight in disorder, do things differently and give others a broad margin. It will do you and your near and dear ones good. And most importantly, rekindle the sense of wonder that you once had when you were a child. And as you allow the drama of life to unfold each day, you will thank God that you didn’t write your own boring script.
Response: See, I have God for my help.
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