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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.

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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Tuesday of the 2nd week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

January 21, 2020

Tuesday of the 2nd week in Ordinary Time


1 Samuel 16:1-13

Psalm 89:21-22, 27-28

Mark 2: 23-28

 

Gospel Reading


As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?" He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?" Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

 

Reflection


Human Beings above the Laws

 

No civilized society can function without laws. It is not necessary that all the laws are to be written down. There are many unwritten laws in the form of customs and traditions which people follow meticulously. The purpose of the laws in a modern society is to protect the rights of all citizens, make the life of people orderly and peaceful and contribute to the well being of the society as a whole. Therefore, often laws are amended or new laws are enacted in order to respond to new challenges and situations. For example the Indian Constitution is amended about 100 times. Jesus once said that he did not come to do away with the laws but to make them perfect and he gave only one law, the law of love for his followers. All other laws are to be subservient to the fundamental law of love. The test of any law for the followers of Jesus is whether it is in tune with the law of love.


Misuse of laws, wrong interpretation of laws and carrying on the outdated laws in the name of tradition are found in many societies. At the time of Jesus the Jewish society had a plethora of laws and for them any law was sacrosanct. The interpretation of the laws was the prerogative of the religious leaders, especially the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus found that many of the laws and traditions were irrelevant and obstacles to human development and well being. Therefore, he violated them openly. One of these outdated laws was the law related to the observance of Sabbath. Often Jesus clashed with the Scribes and Pharisees on the question of Sabbath. Jesus unambiguously told them that Sabbath is meant for human beings and not human beings for Sabbath; hence doing good works on the Sabbath day is not only justifiable but also appreciable.


The Scribes and Pharisees had misinterpreted the Sabbath laws in such way that any small action done on the Sabbath day became a violation of Sabbath. When the disciples of Jesus picked up the ears of corn while walking in the field, the Scribes and Pharisees accused them of violating the Sabbath. Jesus made use of this opportunity to explain to them the real meaning of Sabbath, citing what David did when he needed something to eat. He went into the house of God and ate the bread offered to God which was supposed to be eaten only by the priests.


The religious leaders have a tendency to increase the number of laws in order to make the people depend on them. Now-a-days a tendency noticed among the priests is to increase the number of devotions and celebration of festivals and put the burden of contributing money on the people. Many Christians, especially those who live in the cities, get only one day in a week free; but the priests plan activities to keep the people more time in the church on Sundays. The Bishop’s Synods issue new instructions for the clergy, religious and the lay people with regard to liturgy, payment for the religious services etc. from time to time without taking into account the views of the people. Often the purpose of these instructions and rules is to keep the people under their control rather than making them spiritually mature. 


Any law or instruction from religious authorities is to be tested against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus had out rightly rejected all dehumanizing laws. As the followers of Jesus we have the responsibility of questioning any law that does not contribute to the well being of people. Accepting the laws and instructions that are dehumanizing is not less than slavery. After the Second Vatican Council the Church had introduced the practice of giving communion in hand. Now the fundamentalist priests and bishops are reintroducing the unhygienic and indecent practice of giving communion on the tongue. The reason given for reintroducing this totally unhealthy practice is that some non-Catholics come to the church in order to desecrate the Eucharist and if the Eucharist is given to them in the hand they will abuse it. If such evil minded people are given communion on tongue they can spit it out later.  The argument given by the priests and bishops to revert to the unhygienic practice is childish. The faithful have to question such childish and irrational laws and instructions from the authorities and sometimes disobey them if they are to be true to the ideals of Jesus. Jesus disobeyed the laws that are inhuman.

 

Fr Jacob Peenickaparambil CMI

 


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.