Jan 16 (Mk 2:23-28)

“You are under CCTV surveillance!

>> This is one common notice that is increasingly seen, these days.

Institutions, offices, public places…. are getting scanned under the CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision) camera.

The CCTV seeks to capture every movement that occurs, in order to trace any untoward incident.

The CCTV is mainly placed…

>> In order to identify possible mishaps and troublesome occurrences.

>> In order to find out people who involve in pranks, harmful actions and terrors.

>> In order to trace any untoward incidents by capturing every movement that occurs

Well.. though the gadget named CCTV is a modern technology…

… we have its human version already existing centuries back…

And the Gospel of the Day is proof of this aspect!

Check out the CCTV – which was used by the Pharisees and the Scribes.

>> And in today’s Gospel, Jesus and His disciples are under the surveillance of this CCTV!

Jesus and His disciples were walking through a field of grain on the Sabbath.

>> The disciples were hungry and decided to pluck some of the grain.

The OT law of keeping of the Sabbath in no way prohibited picking a handful of grain to satisfy one’s immediate hunger

In Dt 23:25, God makes a wonderful provision for travellers:

“When you enter your neighbour’s standing grain, then you may pluck the head with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle in your neighbour’s standing grain”

The traditional law however added many rules and regulations.

>> These traditions were extremely rigid, and concerned the Sabbath observance.

The Talmud, the book of Jewish traditions has 24 chapters listing various Sabbath laws.

>> A rabbi would sometimes spend 2.5 years studying one chapter to figure out all the details.

Here are some examples of the rules:

>> No burden could be carried that weighed more than a dried fig, or half a fig carried two times.

>> If you threw an object in the air and caught it with the other hand, it was a sin.

… If you caught it in the same hand, it wasn’t!

>> A tailor couldn’t carry his needle…. The scribe couldn’t carry his pen… A pupil couldn’t carry his books.

>> No clothing could be examined lest somehow you find a lice and inadvertently kill it.

>> Nothing could be sold. Nothing could be bought. Nothing could be washed.

>> Cold water could be poured on warm, but warm couldn’t be poured on cold.

>> You could not bathe, for fear when the water fell off of you it might wash the floor.

>> If a candle was lit, you couldn’t put it out. If it wasn’t lit, you couldn’t light it.

>> Women couldn’t look in a glass or they might find a white hair and be tempted to pull it out.

>> Women couldn’t wear jewellery because jewellery weighs more than a dried fig!!

It goes on and on…!!

The system had become mercilessly oppressive, horribly ungodly and brutally unkind.

>> The safe guarders and protectors of these scrupulous laws were the Scribes and the Pharisees.

And in today’s Gospel, theyare out, to catch hold of Jesus and His disciples.

Their detective eyes are keen to observe the mistakes committed by them.

>> Their probing eyes are on the look out to get hold of their Sabbath breakages!

>> It’s like a CCTV…

… that is capturing minute-by-minute movements

… that keeps a constant watch for any untoward happenings…

Do I sometimes adopt this tendency of the Pharisees and the Scribes…?

>> Being on the constant look out for mistakes of others…

>> Watching others’ behaviours to probe faults and failures in them…

It’s interesting that the Scribes and the Pharisees fail to see that they also broke the Sabbath Law!

The Pharisees are following Jesus and His disciples….

>>This meant walking beyond the stipulated steps prescribed by the Sabbath Law!

But, they conveniently don’t mention this!

They self-justified themselves…

… but accused others of guilt!

They self-approved themselves…

… but blamed others of faults!

Am I a person prone to only find faults and negativity in situations and in others…

>> Or do I make constructive criticisms and also be a person who genuinely appreciates?

Am I a person constantly bickering about what is lacking and missing in my life…

>> Or do I rather be a person who is delightful and content with all what God has blessed me?

Am I person who magnifies the weaknesses of others and defames others character…

>> Or do I be a person who understands others and encourages them to be stronger?

Its human to chance upon the weaknesses of others…

… but its Divine to accept, understand and encourage them to be better instead!

Its human to always look into the negative dimensions in a person…

… but its Divine to have a magnanimous heart to look to positives in life!

Let’s seek the grace of the Lord…

… to avoid the snare of being pessimistic…being judgmental…being critically evil!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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