“Truly seeking to throw away frivolous practices of any Laws, and embrace the Lord of the Law and grow in His love!
(Based on 1 Cor 4:6-15 and Lk 6:1-5 – Feast of St Mother Teresa and Teacher’s Day – Saturday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)
Society is governed by various laws and regulations.
Every organization, every institution and every establishment has its own rules and legislations.
The world, however, also is a strange witness to weird and peculiar laws…
… some known
… many unknown
In Oklahoma State of the U.S. …
… you can be arrested for making ugly faces at a dog.
In Vermont State of the U.S….
… a woman must get written permission from her husband to wear false teeth.
… it is illegal for a man above 80 years to become a pilot
… it’s a crime to forget your own wife’s birthday.
Creepy and unusual, isn’t it?
Well… each law has its own purpose and motive when it was framed and formulated.
But, when a rule fails to deliver its intended aim and gets devoid of all target, it becomes worthless!
When a law loses its original flavour and objective, it gets reduced to merely a plain statement!
A similar situation is what is encountered in today’s Gospel passage from Luke 6:1-5.
Here is a law that is genuine and good and was commanded by God Himself…
And all of us know this by heart, when we recite the Ten Commandments: “Keep the Sabbath Day Holy!”
The Sabbath day was initially the seventh day of the week.
In the seven days of creation, it is the day on which God rested from His work.
And so in Exodus 20, we learn that since God rested from his work on the Sabbath, He wanted His people to take a day of rest on the Sabbath as well.
This is a great principle, right?
It is certainly good to get some rest during the week!
So the Sabbath Law was not a funny or a crazy law like some of the ones mentioned above.
So far, so good!
So far, so nice!
But as time moved ahead and as generations passed on…
… Craziness began to find its way into this law!
The Jews were so intent at keeping this law that they began formulating practical guidelines on “how” to follow this law – what could be done and what could not be done.
They came up with a list of 39 main tasks which could not be performed on the Sabbath.
This list included sowing seed, ploughing, reaping, binding, threshing, winnowing, grinding, sifting, kneading etc etc…
A Jewish scholar by the name of Yehoshua Neuwirth, mentions some instructions for the present day Jews, in his book titled “A Guide to the Practical Observance of the Sabbath”:
(Please note: Don’t be amused too much!)
If the hot water tap is accidentally left on, it cannot be turned off on the Sabbath.
One cannot light a fire on the Sabbath, it is also wrong to turn on electric lights.
If you need to turn on the lights, you can get an automatic timer which will do the job for you.
You cannot bathe with a bar of soap on the Sabbath, but you can use liquid soap.
A person is not allowed to simply take the item out of their pocket….
… In order to get it out, he has to reverse his pocket so the item falls out!
… And after that, he has to ask a Gentile to pick up, ‘cos he himself is forbidden to do so!
Are you getting bored with these “excessives”?
Are you getting irritated with these unnecessary “extremes”?
Well… so too was Jesus!
He was not just bored or irritated…
… but he was also zealous to restore back the Original Spirit of the Sabbath Law!
Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath is clear to point out to the legalistic Pharisees:
“You don’t have to teach me about Sabbath rules…
… It is I who have set up it in the first place!
The Sabbath was supposed to be a day of rest…
… but you’ve made it a day of working hard to keep the law!
If you have to work so hard to keep the Sabbath, then you’ve totally misunderstood the intention of the Sabbath.”
The Sabbath is giving God the priority…
The Sabbath is giving one’s heart to the Lord!
The Sabbath is growing in relationship with Him!
The Sabbath is a day of taking rest, with the Lord!
The Sabbath is restoring our relationship with God!
The Sabbath is dedicating more of one’s resources to His Kingdom!
The Sabbath is strengthening ties with our family and fellow beings!
Yes, the Law is important…
… but do I lose focus of its original purpose, like the Pharisees…
Or do I, like Jesus, understand the true meaning and intention of the rules and guidelines in our lives?
Let us truly seek to throw away frivolous practices of any Laws & embrace the Lord of the Law and grow in His love!
Love the law…
Be zealous to keep the law…
… But not just for the sake of the law!
Rather, to grow in the Love of the Law-Giver Himself…the Lord of Law…JESUS!
September 5th is Teacher’s Day in India.
Teachers mould and shape a child to make him/her a beautiful person with a noble character!
Teachers inspire change!
Teachers stir up conversion!
Teachers motivate transformation!
Today the Greatest of all Teachers – Jesus – challenges and exhorts each one of us to adopt and adapt…
… a Transformed way of Living
… a Changed Lifestyle
… a Converted Life!
And allow Him to reign over every situation of our life and embrace us!
Today is also the Feast day of Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata.
Let us seek her intercession…
… and be inspired by her love and life, that we may truly see – and like her – bring the Powerful Presence of God in every situation of our society.
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Concerning those virtues pertaining to our duties in life, preference must be given to those which are most effective…