Mk 2:23-28 Grow Up!
The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
The Lord would love to open the eyes of the hearts of the Pharisees. To see things the way He sees them. He invites us today to modify our behavior; to change our course of action; to go sane and do something different!
How quickly I judge and am quick to anger, especially when I am out to get someone - when I have a bone to pick. The Pharisees do not allow themselves to see anything other than the obligation of the Sabbath. They live out of love for the Law, and not so much out of love for the Lord. That may be a little harsh of me, a little too judgmental too, but I think I can say it because I have lived it myself! I know what it means to be a Pharisee: to make the other side look evil.
Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, writes, in the opening of her book “Unplanned”, that her story is not at all a comfortable story to read. It’s uncomfortable not because it goes into gruesome detail with regards to abortion, but rather because it does not portray the enemy as “The Enemy.” Instead, it portrays the reality of life on earth. There are good people on both sides of the issue. Yes, the abortion side is dead wrong. But some of them believe, in the most profound aspects of their heart, that what they are doing is good. The same of course is true of the pro-life advocates: they love life. However, I would not be shocked to think that some of them may also be the most grievous of sinners as well.
The Lord, like the Church, is very balanced: Love the sinner, hate the sin. It is a catchy, easily understood phrase which carries a significant punch in the way Christians live in the world. But the practical aspect is hard to do. It takes grace. It takes love. “This is how the world will know that you belong to me.”
As children we learn to see things as black and white. We love to draw lines. They make everything look so neat. Lines help to separate one person, doctrine, belief from the other. Christians are called to walk across the line, to reach out and to listen.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what the hope that belongs to our call is. Christ loved to speak in parables to turn our lives upside down, right-side up! Our faith is full of paradoxes. It is better to give than to receive. If you wish to find your life you must lose it. These paradoxes, by definition, point to a deeper truth. It takes a big man to know how small he is. Which leads to another paradox: The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Our Lord calls us to be happy, without falling into sin.
The Catholic convert Joseph Pearce states, “Happiness consists in humor and humility; gratitude and humility; wisdom and innocence. They may seem to contradict each other, but there is a deeper truth in all of this. Unless you become child-like, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But St. Paul counters: ‘When I was a child I would talk and think like a child, but I have left all my childish ways.’ The reality is this: We must all remain child-like without being childish. We must remain child-like while ceasing to be childish.”
Let us grow up! The challenge is set before us: Do not lose your innocence in order to advance in wisdom and you do not have to grow in innocence at the expense of becoming naïve. We must learn from Christ who, as he advanced in age, grew more and more into a lamb, sacrificing all, but his innocence.