Grace to you!
We continue on a previous line of thought. We saw how the Lord lifts our burden of sin and invigorates us through the Law of grace, new life in him. Here, I hint on how the Lord's liberating grace extends to the regulations that relate to things of worship, a sacred day.
We read the encounter between the Blessed Lord Jesus, his disciples, and some Pharisees (Mt 12:1-8). The Lord’s disciples were hungry and began to pluck and eat available heads of grains where they were.
The above incident may not relate to an average reader today since most do not live under such rules. However, it may be appropriate to hint at some of its implications.
Jones (1953) suggests that there were thirty-nine works which a practicing Jew was forbidden to undertake on the Sabbath. Among them included reaping and threshing of grains. But later, some rabbinic tradition included plucking the ears of grains as reaping, so also robbing them between the hands.
You observe that once one lives one's life based on legal specifications, it would be the most stressful life. There are always new laws to add as new events happen. The number of Positive Laws is endless insofar as we live in a world of time and change.
We have not remembered our car title number or, worse, the VIN, let alone remembering all the Law's fine details.
You see, living by the Law means continuously learning and relearning. I teach digital media, and I can tell you that studying the legal aspect of the media and digital ecosystem alone can drive anyone crazy. So, it is with other disciplines. No persons, no matter how smart they may be, could live their lives in such a situation and still have peace.
The Lord has a way of taking the distractions that come by the way we like to follow the Law and draw us to the Law's spirit. "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath” (Mk 2:27), says the Lord. We are to serve the Lord with all our minds and heart, equipped by his grace. We need that day of rest to praise the Lord as well as bring serenity to the over-laboring soul.
But there is much higher Law, the Law of love and mercy. It is the Law that we celebrate every Sunday and every day when we come to church. We unite with the Lord Jesus, who (out of love) made himself our sacrifice and our praise. We bond with the Lord, who is rich in mercy and compassion. We celebrate and are renewed to go out and renew others with the grace we receive from him, who is “the Lord of the Sabbath” (Mt 12:8).
Those who live with Christ live in true peace and freedom and go in and out as those whose lives are more renewed than any positive law could grant.
Here is the excellent news for a true believer. In Christ, we live the true spirit of the Law and not the letters. In Christ, we have our Sabbath, and this Sabbath lives on until the Eternal Rest.
My Lord and God, grant me the grace of living, following the Law of grace and love. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Week 15: Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8; Mt 12:1-8]
 A. Jones, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew,” in A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, ed. Bernard Orchard and Edmund F. Sutcliffe (Toronto; New York; Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 1953), 872
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.