Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Sam16,1-13; Resp. Psalm: Ps89,20-22,28-28; Gosp. Accl.: Eph1,17-18; Gospel: Mk2,23-28
What good can we do with our lives? What joy and happiness can we bring to the people around us? How can we radiate the love of Christ to those whose lives have been dominated and pervaded by hatred, violence and unlove? How can our lives touch others' to such extent that what we do to them remains indelible in their lives?
Our Lord went about doing good. He spent His entire earthly life bringing relief and succour to the people. Our Lord believed in the primacy of the human person and the fact that those who should be given physical and spiritual reliefs must not be barred from receiving it because of a warped understanding of the law. This is because the law is meant to improve the quality of man's life, not destroy it.
In the gospel today, two incidents happened on the sabbath: the disciples plucked heads of grain and our Lord healed on the sabbath. These were considered as work on the sabbath, which the sabbath laws condemned. But our Lord was not unaware of these interpretations of the sabbath observances. He however knew that these were man made interpretations.
Our Lord knew that the intentions of His Father when He established the day of rest was that it should be a day of joy, of setting people free, of enjoying the freedom of the children of God, of bringing new life to those oppressed by the evil forces of the world. Our Lord knew that the sabbath was established for doing good. It was established as a day of dedicating oneself to Yahweh, the supreme God of all goodness. It was established to save lives and souls.
The sabbath was therefore made for the benefit of human beings, not as a means of oppressing and subjugating them. This was the intention of Yahweh. This was why our Lord said it categorically today that "the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath." Thus, the reason for the coming of the Son was to make known to the human person the goodness of God.
The people looked at the externals. God looked at the internal. They gave laws and laws to interpret a single prescription of God that they should keep the day of the Lord holy. At the end, they became slaves to their own interpretations. Man sees the externals. God sees the heart.
This was exactly the point Yahweh made today at the election and anointing of David to take the place of Saul as king of Israel. Yahweh did not choose the ones that Samuel thought were the best because "the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." By the time David made his appearance, Yahweh told Samuel that he was the One chosen and Samuel anointed him in the midst of his brothers and the "Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward."
God sees the heart. God loves His creatures. God gives succour to them in all their afflictions. God will never forget His people. He will rise to defend and protect them. He will always reveal His presence to those who seek Him with sincere hearts. Let us seek Him today. He will not turn away from us.
Let us pray: O Lord our God, you revealed your love for us through your Son. He came into the world doing good. He revealed to us your goodness. Give us grace to follow Him. Open our hearts to receive Him. Strengthen us to do good always and so make you known to those around us who do not yet believe in you. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.