From the Word of the Day
On a Sabbath he 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 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. Then he said to them, “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question. (Luke 14: 1-6)
Jesus goes into the house of His adversaries. He does not refuse to proclaim the Father’s mercy even to those who think differently from Him and are entrenched in a perception of God tied only to observance because He came to offer salvation to everyone. The Pharisees believe that fidelity to traditions is the only way to live as God wants. They are afflicted with the worst and most hidden malady: with their self-sufficiency they directly oppose God who is grace and mercy.
The whole theme of Luke’s Gospel is God’s mercy so that the Church always remains in the experience of God who saves and feels itself a forgiven sinner. Thus, Jesus is forced to scold the Pharisees present at the healing of the sick man. They love too little.
The law’s aim is not to limit or impede love because God’s love knows no limits. For Jesus, the Sabbath rest means the revelation of God’s goodness toward all His creatures, a revelation of peace and of salvation. Jesus gives glory to the Father, presenting Him to the world as the God who gives and forgives; the God of the poor and the oppressed.
I will ask God to give me a heart of mercy.
The voice of Pope Francis
When we read the Gospel, we find a direction that is very clear: do not welcome only friends and rich neighbors but rather all the poor and the sick, those who are often despised and forgotten. We need to affirm without twisting words that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. Do not ever leave them alone.