HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I.
THEME: The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Jesus is the master of the sabbath by exellence.
BY: Fr. Deotatious Chikontwe, SMA.
SAINT OF THE DAY: Memorial St Antony, Abbot.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
*ABOUT OUR FIRST READING*
Our first reading of today, reminds each one of us, that God has always loved us all from the very beginning, and while He despised our sins and wickedness, what He hates was truly those sins and evils that we have committed, and not ourselves personally. After all, the very reason why He created this whole world and Universe is because of His love and He created us in His very own image, as He desired to share with us His overflowing love, to love us all most generously and sincerely, and to bring us all into His most Holy and loving Presence.
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*ABOUT OUR GOSPEL READING*
In this morning’s gospel reading, the Pharisees criticize Jesus’ disciples for picking ears of corn on the Sabbath and eating them. As far as they were concerned, this was a form of work, and, so, was forbidden on the Sabbath. They were convinced that they understood what God expected of people on the Sabbath. In fact, they did not understand God’s will for the Sabbath. They saw themselves as experts, but in reality they were only learners and they had much to learn from Jesus’ understanding of the Sabbath. When it comes to the ways of God, the ways of the Lord, we are all only learners.
Jesus was always person centred, not law centred. The needs and well-being of the human person carried much greater weight with him than strict observance of a particular law, even a law as sacred as the Sabbath law. For Jesus, all law, including religious law, is at the service of the total well-being of people and when it works against their well-being it deserves to be ignored. Jesus gives expression to this conviction in that very short and concise saying, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath’. The Sabbath Law or any religious law must not be allowed to prevent people from satisfying their basic physical need for food. Jesus’ understanding of the religious law of his time was always shaped by his compassion for those in greatest need. He embodied God’s gracious presence, which made him master of the Sabbath and of all religious law.
May God bless us always, now and forevermore, in all the things we say and do. Amen.
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