The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath,
his disciples were picking the heads of grain,
rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.
Some Pharisees said,
“Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Have you not read what David did
when he and those who were with him were hungry?
How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering,
which only the priests could lawfully eat,
ate of it, and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”
Reflection (Sem. Ramon C. Jamora Jr.)
Before I entered the seminary, I worked as a branch accountant. As part of my job, I checked all the transactions made during the day. I did not miss a single centavo. I made sure that all the transactions were correctly done. To help me facilitate the accuracy and correctness of each transaction, all the policies were in my possession. Everything was accurately and systematically prepared; all I needed was to follow each step and make sure that everyone in the branch followed. No one was exempted; even the manager and officer had to follow by the letter of the policy.
Because of the nature of my work, I was always unwelcome to everyone. Every time I went to an employee, I would always receive a question, “What is it this time?” I was an unwelcomed guest to employees. Just like the Pharisees, following the letter of the law makes it difficult to be in a relationship with others.
In the Gospel, the Pharisees were also living by the book. They literally followed up to the last letter of the law and that made them appear righteous before others.
Jesus in today’s Gospel wants us to change our priority especially in following the law. Jesus does not abolish the law but clarifies the meaning of the law. Jesus simply presents to us that our concern for others must take precedence over the letter of the law. The law must bring us into a deeper and closer relationship, first with ourselves, with others, then finally with God.
The law must bring out the goodness in us and must not prevent us from being a neighbor to another. It must be our guide to building relationship. The law must teach us how to love.