Devotional Thoughts for 3rd Sunday after the feast of Exaltation of
H. Cross - 5th Oct 08
Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Mark 2: 23-28
Dear and Respected Brethren,
In today's reading we find our Lord Jesus Christ and His blessed
Apostles crossing a corn field. And the Apostles plucked the ears of
corn. The sight of this made the Pharisees angry and irritated only
because it was a Sabbath day. They immediately approached our Lord
and questioned him "why His Apostles were not following the laws of
their sacred religion". In fact plucking the ears of corn was as good
as doing certain job and thereby dishonoring the law. They had
considered the protection of the law and the observation of Sabbath
as their right and privilege. The Israelites still consider and
behave so. They still follow the laws of the religion with much care
and significance. But they had wrong information that man is made for
law and not laws are made for man. Our Lord reacted to their
complaint very softly. Our Lord did not try to justify what His
Apostles did. But whereas He tried to make everyone learn the great
lesson how to observe the laws.
We also follow such a type of observation in our Church lives. We all
are interested to see whether the priests and Bishops are behaving
properly or not. If any one is found indifferently, we might utilize
all our might to publicize them as much as we could. Are we not
trying to utilize the 'Forums' meant for nourishing our spiritual
growth and knowledge, for our own arguments and counter arguments?
First of all we all must realize that the Church is the body of
Christ, our savior and redeemer, where Christ himself is the head. A
physical body exercises its physical and mental activities in
accordance with the instructions from the brain. If it is so, why we
can't wait for the instructions from Christ, the brain of the Church?
Kindly think about our role slowly and calmly. So he calmly asked
them another question, which was His answer to their query. The main
accusation of the Pharisees was that the disciples of Lord Jesus did
some unlawful things and they were totally worried about the unlawful
things. That is why our Lord referred to an incident of unlawful deed
done by nobody else other than King David, whom all the Jews are
honoring alike. Our Lord referred the incident explained in I Samuel
21: 6 and asked them "Have you never read what David did when he had
need and was a hungered, he and they that were with him". (Verse 25)
According to the teaching explained in Exodus 25:30, 29: 32-33, and
Leviticus 24: 9, the showbread was to be consumed by Aaron and his
sons only and no stranger was allowed to touch it. Still King David
who was fully conversant of these rules and laws took them and ate
and gave the share to others with him. Our Lord succeeded in pointing
out the wrong procedure in the lives of the Jews in general.
The incident of plucking the ears of the corn was not the only
incident questioned by the Pharisees and Sadducees. Whenever our Lord
performed a miracle, for the benefit of the suffering and the needy,
these Pharisees and Sadducees were always there to question our Lord
for not honoring the Sabbath. They followed our Lord wherever He had
gone, but always they had a hidden agenda of trapping our Lord by
hook or crook.
In the contemporary world, we could notice many who might be spending
their time with us as our well wishers. Their intention must be
certain hidden agendas like the Pharisees. In our lives we should not
try to follow the life style of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Our main
and only intention in associating with the Church should not be in
putting a control over the clergy. There are few people among our
midst also who are only interested in finding fault with our Vicars
and the High priests.
As stated in verse 27, our Lord made it clear that the Sabbath was
made for men and not man for Sabbath. This is in fact a great lesson
for us. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the
Levite cannot be counted as unkind. They were rushing to the
Jerusalem Temple to offer their prayers in the strict manner as per
the law. So they could not wait there for a few seconds. In our
Christian lives we should go after such leavened rules and
regulations. We should not give a chance in our lives to give
priority for the leavened ones. The only way to save us is to throw
away all leavened styles, manners, rules and regulations as we might
throw away the extremely leavened food items. Our priority must be
for the love of God and will of God. Before committing something, let
us make sure that it would be good enough to share the love of God
and do the will of God. Let us the Holy Spirit in us guide us in our
domestic and church lives.
In verse 28 we read, "Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the
Sabbath." We might think and say, let Jesus Christ be the Lord of
Sabbath, I don't mind. Let us examine our own hearts. Let us decide
what position is granted to our Lord and Savior in our privacies.
Let us place our Lord as the Master and everything in our lives.
May God bless us all in our words and deeds.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.