15th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 17th July 2020 — Gospel: Mt 12,1-8
Law is fulfilled in love
In the controversy between Jesus and his opponents, Jesus cited two examples in defense of his disciples who were hungry and picked grain on the Sabbath. The first is that of David and his men who entered the temple and ate the sacred bread that had been set aside for the rituals of the priests. David’s procuring the bread was an act of compassion for his hungry followers that superseded the regulations of the temple. The second example is that of the priests of the temple who are required to perform certain duties on the Sabbath. Their obligations override the general law prescribing rest on the Sabbath. Again, Jesus expresses God’s will as expressed by the prophet Hosea, “It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice”. This means that in God’s eyes, the measure of our behaviour is not counted by our observance of the law but by the degree of love. In giving priority to the human need, Jesus does not disregard the law, but interprets it in a way that fulfills its God-given intent.