The good news for the day September 5

Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time (437)

One Day of Prayer & Rest–a Sabbath—when Jesus went into the synagogue and was teaching, there came a man whose right hand was impaired. The educated and religious leaders kept a close eye on Jesus to see whether He would cure on the Sabbath—so that they could find fault. He was aware of their intentions, though, and so to the man with the damaged hand He said, “Come on up; stand in front of all of us.” The man got up and stood there. Next, Jesus said loudly “Here is my question: is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath—rather than evil, to save a life—rather than destroy it?” Looking around at them all, He said to the man, “Stick your hand out.” When he did that—the man’s hand was restored! Those leaders were resentful—and conferred among themselves what to do to Jesus. (Luke 6)

Legal-minded people use rules in bible and church blindly—a mechanical, obedient, non-deviant external action to show, ‘I obey the law.’ The scribes and Pharisees want Jesus to break the law—a “gotcha!’—if Jesus did a cure. They did not care about the spirit of the law. Which one are you? Do you care more to do external acts of obedience that people see—or actions which may break a law so that you can help someone?

At some point in life, it dawns on you that God’s law is really poetry—suggesting insight, beyond obedience—nudging you towards love. If you have to break a law to help someone, you do it. That’s the point!

Because God’s world has contradictions, you need to sort out acts of loving from cruel and deadly obedience. To obey even a divine law automatically, mechanically—leaving someone hurt—is wrong. To practice revenge as some people say today—“An eye for an eye”—is wrong. (To forgive is good—but that too can be wrong!) No law—however sacred the book it is written in—is absolute. The letter—blind obedience—kills, while the spirit (of love) gives life. THAT is what this is all about—not just bodily healing, but the “spirit and life” of any law that guides you beyond law to love.


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