Posted by: livingscripture | October 30, 2015

30th Friday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.  In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.  Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and the Pharisees in reply, asking, ‘is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?’  But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. ”     

(Luke 14: 1-4)

How should we live this Wordpharisees-question-jesus-744x492[1]

 This is the second episode in which Jesus discusses the true meaning of the Sabbath rest.  In this case, the Master teaches us that we do God’s Will when we make ourselves neighbor to the needy, where they are, as they are, without falling into subtleties and detailed analyses!  The representatives of official and orthodox Judaism, the Pharisees, were very good at dividing God’s will into a quantity of minute practices, but they were closed in their juridical schemes.  Jesus responds to their own question, “is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?’ first with a concrete gesture of mercy in favor of the sick man, and then, as was His custom, with a new counter-question, placing the problem in a concrete perspective.

The response is, what can be done to save one’s own interests, the son or the ox that fall into a well on the Sabbath, is worth more than helping a neighbor who is in need.  It is from this point of view that we can discover God’s true will.

This teaching of the Lord is still of great actuality even for the Christians of our times because we all run the risk of becoming fossilized in rigid, abstract schemes and in useless traditions.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me be open to His real will for me at every moment and not fall into the risk of letting ritual win over mercy.

Lord, I ask You to illumine my mind and make me docile to Your love, able to judge situations without abstract preconceptions.  Give me a free heart that is open, pure, and magnanimous.

 The Voice of Gustav Mahler, Composer and Orchestra Leader

 Tradition means safeguarding the fire, not adoring the ashes.


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