Jan 22 (Mk 2:23-28)

A common story is told of a judge who had been frequently ridiculed by an arrogant lawyer.

When asked by a friend why he didn’t rebuke his assailant, the judge replied:

“In our town lives a widow who has a dog.

>> Whenever the moon shines, it goes outside and barks all night.”

Having said that, the magistrate shifted the conversation to another subject.

After sometime, someone asked, “But Judge, you did not complete saying about the dog and the moon…

… What happened thereafter?”

“Oh,” the judge quipped, “the moon went on shining—that’s all.”

In life, we often face situations when criticisms are thrown at us…

… and we come under the scanner of “people’s unfair observations and judgments!”

What is our attitude to such situations of life?

Do we react negatively and thus lose our peace of mind…

… or do we remain firm and patient – trusting in God’s Protection – and being convinced of standing for the truth?

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus and His disciples coming under the “observant scanner of the Pharisees and the Scribes”…

… and Jesus responding to the situation with conviction in the Truth!

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. (Mk 2: 23)

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 rigid concerning Sabbath observance.

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

>> A rabbi would sometimes spend 21/2 years studying one chapter to figure out all the details.

On a Sabbath Day…

… 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

… bought

… 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 today they are 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!

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 failed to see that they also broke the Sabbath Law!

The Pharisees were following Jesus and His disciples….

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

But, they conveniently avoid in mentioning 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?

It’s human to chance upon the weaknesses of others…

>> It’s Divine to accept, understand and encourage them to be better instead!

It’s human to always look into the negative dimensions in a person…

>> It’s Divine to have a magnanimous heart to look to positives in life!

Life and situations may often go on “barking criticisms” at us…

>> Let us continue to shine as the moon…

… drawing our light from Jesus, the Sun of our Life!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “To get bogged down by some little troubles, problems and pitfalls…is a sign that our heart is still too tender and vulnerable and our devotion soft and spineless

>> Do not be afraid to fight tooth and nail against these silly, melancholic and senseless moods…

… till they are completely crushed and exterminated from your hearts!”


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