Today’s Gospel: Luke 14:1-6
“Is it unlawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?”
Friends of mine belonged to a devout religious community; any shopping on Sunday was strongly discouraged. One Sunday, my friend ran out of milk and diapers, so they found themselves in the position of having to shop. When they left the store, they ran into a fellow churchgoer who questioned why they were conducting business on this “day of rest.”
The question struck me as absurd. My friends are faith-filled people in every way. They raise their children in the faith, never miss Mass and pray daily. In caring for their children and filling an immediate need for diapers and milk, how could their faithfulness be called into question?
The Pharisees fell into the same rigid thinking. When Jesus pointed out the ridiculousness of their question they could not rebuke Him further. Who among us would not care for a loved one on the Sabbath?
It is easy for me to become like the Pharisees, judging others on the small details of the law without digging a little deeper. This reading reminds us to look further into the reasons for people’s actions. Perhaps the person who runs into Mass late every week is doing so because he must work all weekend, yet still makes getting to Mass a priority after his last shift. It is so easy to fall into self-righteous thinking.
How many of us have found ourselves getting a little annoyed at someone taking too long in confession, rather than praising God for that individual’s return to grace? Luke’s Gospel has been said to be a gospel of forgiveness and healing. When I practice humility rather than rushing to judgement, I may be able to participate in that healing, learning from the example of Christ healing on the Sabbath.
Do I jump to conclusions about others? Do I try to assume the best in someone’s actions rather than judging what appears incorrect?
Dearest Jesus, when I am tempted to judge someone’s actions at face value, help me to take a step back and look for a deeper understanding of that individual’s situation.
Copyright 2017 Mary Lou Rosien
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