22nd Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday 9th September 2023

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St Peter Claver, priest, pray for us

22nd Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday 9th September 2023

Col. 1:21-23; Ps. 53:3-4,6,8;
Lk. 6:1-5 (Ps. Wk. II)

The Pharisees, a group of zealot Jews, crafted distinct and elaborate religious laws and regulations. They believed that rigid observances were required to maintain a righteous and honest relationship with God and preserve their distinct Jewish identity. The foundation of these laws was the Torah – the Law that God gave through Moses to the Jewish people. These all-encompassing laws were meant to sanctify all aspects of their daily life but were instead misused to control and oppress them.

Jesus instructed the Pharisees and others concerning the Law of the Sabbath as they had criticised His disciples who were using their hands to pick the corn in the field to eat on the Sabbath. He reveals that He is the author of divine Law and has rightful authority over it.

God’s Law is the Law of freedom, for our lawgiver describes Himself as merciful and compassionate. Laws and rituals can be life-giving only if exercised with love. What does such love look like? “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (Jn 14:15). Following His commandments should be an external expression of loving God with all our hearts and souls. St Augustine said this beautifully: “Love God and do what you will: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.” Do I  judge and scrutinise the actions of others or watch for infringements of rules while forgetting about the true message of Jesus?

Lord, may my only motivation to live in faithful obedience to Your commandments be borne of loving You.

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