Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12, 1-8 – St. Bonaventure
Arising yet again is the classic Gospel dilemma of the strict observance of religious Torah law vs. the spirit of the law, as Jesus challenges the so-called legal “experts”. Jesus made it clear that the spirit of love, compassion, and mercy for our fellow human beings trumps the religious observance. Clearly, His disciples carrying out their work with him, and allowing them to eat along the way, bore more weight than the seventh day rest rule. Jesus reminds the Pharisees that David allowed his soldiers to act similarly. The priests of the temple served the Lord on the Sabbath. Service and work for the Lord, namely showing love and mercy to His hungry followers, should be the ideal followed.
In our daily lives, we will likely encounter situations where serving up some love and mercy to others runs counter to common sense, the rule, or the law. There’s always that person reminding us what our obligation is, who tries to be the “authority.” Like Jesus, we should remember that we are called to uphold the spirit of the law, the charism of his Gospel message.
Should we merely pray for the hungry and homeless, offering an intention at Mass, or should we be out feeding them and finding them shelter? Should we stop going to Mass? No, but do we get so wrapped up in the rest of the day, the rest of our week, or in our religious customs and traditions that we forget we are called to more, to a life of service? Love and serve with your actions, with true love and compassion in your heart. For our God who is above the law demands it.
What will you do today to uphold God’s call to help those in need?
St. Bonaventure, gentle, courteous and humble servant of the Lord, pray for us. Like you finished washing the convent’s dishes before accepting the appointment of Cardinal, help us to remember to live a life of true service to others, not just to the letter of the law.
Copyright 2016 RJ Martin
RJ is a hard-working father of 4 boys and a loving husband who weaves some humor into faith, family, work and dadliness. You can find his funny Catholic Dad Blog on the interwebs at Meant2Dad. He can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.