Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)
Gospel: Mt 12: 1-8
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
THE COVERING OF HIS BLOOD: God laid down the Passover rites from its preparation to the materials to be prepared and how the meal is to be consumed. They are to mark their posts with the blood of the lamb so that when He sees the blood, He will pass over you and their first-born sons will be saved. It is the blood of the Passover lamb that sets apart the people of God. In the Gospel Jesus shows the Pharisees from the Old Testament that the law was broken even then. He shows that the law was made for man and not man for the law. The most important thing is our faith in Him so that His blood can cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.
PRAYER: Let us pray today, asking the Lord for the grace to always take refuge in the blood of Christ.
MERCY NOT SACRIFICES: When King Hezekiah wept bitterly, his prayer was heard, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.” How often do we turn to the Lord in earnest, interceding for favours for the world, Church and ourselves? Though Sabbath observance is important, genuine human need takes precedence over the law. If David could act this way (eating the bread of offering in dire need which only the priests could lawfully eat), Jesus, the son of David, is more entitled to allow his disciples to pluck the grain and eat when they are hungry. Jesus affirms himself to be the Messiah who has authority to override the Sabbath ban. For Jesus, the new Moses, the lawgiver, what is important is the law of love over the legal prescriptions and rituals. As Jesus defends his disciples, he is sure to stand by us when we bend the laws in favour of people in their sufferings and miseries. God wants mercy, not sacrifices. Love is the measure of justification.