Scripture: 1st Reading: Col1,21-23; Resp. Psalm: Ps54,3-4,6,8; Gosp. Accl.: Jn14,6; Gospel: Lk6,1-5
Sin separates. Sin alienates. It makes us enemies of one another and enemies of God. It changes the course and direction of our lives. It leads us down a blind alley. It estranged us and makes us hostile in mind. It corrupts our immortal souls. It makes us to do one evil deed after another.
This is why the coming of Christ in the flesh was meant to end the dominance of the flesh over the lives of God's children. His coming brought about our reconciliation with the Father. With this reconciliation, we are presented holy and blameless and irreproachable before God.
The word of God tells us today that to continue in this state of holiness, we must be stable and steadfast in the faith, not shifting here or there like reed. We must hold on to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be resolute in our convictions.
The Pharisees in today's gospel were also resolute in their convictions. They advocated for a strict adherence to the law. But for a wrong reason. They held o blindly to the letter of the law and became slaves to it. They were completely closed to the spirit of the law.
Today, the Pharisees accused the disciples of our Lord of breaking the Sabbath law. What they were not saying here was that they were breaking their interpretations of the Sabbath law. There were only ten commandments given by God. The Pharisees, rabbis, scribes and teachers of the law gave over seven hundred interpretations and prescriptions to these ten commandments. In most cases, their accusations that people did not keep the law was based on these their interpretations.
We can now appreciate why our Lord said He was Lord of the Sabbath. This was because He was the One who gave the Sabbath after He and His Father finished the creation of the universe. What was created could not be greater than the Creator. The law could not be greater than the lawgiver. Secondly, the law of God was that people should remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. It did not forbid the people from doing good or saving lives on the Sabbath.
The reconciliation He brought was once and for all, total and final. He has delivered us from the elemental spirits of the world. He has set us free with His flesh freely given up for our sakes. We must never forget this by subjecting ourselves anew to the same powers He had liberated us from.
St. Peter Claver understood the meaning of the reconciliation and liberation brought about by our Lord Jesus in the lives of believers. He also understood that men were created equal by God and loved in the same measure. This was why he dedicated his entire life to the care of the poor, especially of slaves that were brought to Cartagena, Colombia. He revealed to them a face of Christ that their brutal tormentors never had. For this reason, many of them accepted the faith and were baptised. May He intercede for us from his place in heaven.
Let us pray: "O God, who made Saint Peter Claver a slave of slaves and strengthened him with wonderful charity and patience as he came to their help, grant, through his intercession, that, seeking the things of Jesus Christ, we may love our neighbour in deeds and in truth." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Happy Weekend.