Friday, July 20, 2018
Jul 20 - Friday 15th Week in OT
+ Today we have a very important gospel passage at mass. In it Jesus in effect places himself “above the law” – once and for all times. He in this way reverses the understanding of what pleases God on his day and what does not.
Now, does Jesus really place himself “above the law” – or is he not clarifying what is lawful and what is not – replacing what was a temporary stop-gap measure, with what will be lasting and unchangeable from now on. Mosaic Law was given so that the newly formed People of God – could know they were pleasing him – because the definitive Law was not yet born, another manifestation of law that was much more personal, much more real, much more pleasing both to God and to men – and that would be Jesus himself.
Jesus – being God’s Son, and Man’s Son as well – had every qualification and authority to redefine and reset a proper understanding of the Law of God – for he was law-made-flesh! What pleases God, Jesus is trying to get across here, that mercy – treating other people as you would want to be treated – treating them with compassion, empathy and overflowing generosity – pleases God much more than any lesser show breads or burnt offerings or long boring services. What God is pleased with is using common sense and worshipping in spirit and in truth – the one unbloody representation of the bloody reconciliatory act of his Son on our behalf.
So, yes, Jesus declares himself Lord of the Sabbath – and encourages right worship and common-sense treatment of not only our fellow men and women and children, but also the animals, birds, fishes of the sea and all the rest of creation. For Jesus is Lord, King and Savior of the entire universe – and all the universes beyond this one!
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