September 3, 2016
The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
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. Kein Harvey P. Chito)
I believe that there is a need to bend some rules especially when there is an urgent need to help others. I remember a scenario when a manager I personally knew broke a particular company rule in order to extend his generosity to his employee. It was clear in their norms that they cannot do cash-advance every Monday since there are many scheduled expenses to pay during that particular day of the week. And most of the time, the company’s financial standing for that day is just break-even.
But since the employee has an urgent need because he will be enrolling his kids to school, the manager decided to bend his own rule. He created a way to accommodate the said request. The manager thought that he can compromise his own rules in order to help the kids’ education. So with openness and joy in his heart, he sacrificed the company’s financial earnings for that particular day in order to help his employee’s children. For him, the true purpose of wealth is to help others.
This approach is the same with what Jesus did on a Sabbath. He was going through a field of grain which means that He has already the plan of doing something forbidden on a Sabbath, and that is to eat and share the bread of offering to His men. The Gospel is clear that only priests are allowed to eat that bread but Jesus broke this law because He wants to ease the hunger of His companions. I believe Jesus did not commit any offense here because He is the Lord who rules over the Sabbath. His nature as God is more than the concept of laws during Sabbath.
Do not get me wrong. I wrote this not to encourage breaking rules and laws. But my main invitation is to go back to the real motivation and reason why we help others. Are we willing to let go of rules in order to bless more people? Are we even courageous enough to bend our principles so that we can bring hope to others who are in immediate need? Do we compromise for the greater glory of God? I hope that our own standards will not limit our capacity to love, share, and inspire.