September 7, 2020 – Monday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/090720.cfm)
True love could never go wrong. The Lord could never inflict any bad thing on anybody. Jesus only desires our wellbeing, our healing, and our freedom. The presence of Jesus among us is the concrete expression of God’s tremendous and empowering love. Perhaps, it is our way of loving that could go wrong because ours is filled with selfishness and of too much self-importance to the point that our way of loving becomes corrupted and vicious.
This is how St Paul reminded the people in his first letter to the Corinthians. A man living with his father’s wife was no love at all and not something that one should be proud of. Paul called it immorality. Paul also called such action an “old yeast,” a yeast of malice and wickedness.
This malice and wickedness were the intentions felt by Jesus among the scribes and Pharisees while he was teaching in a synagogue. In this event, Jesus graced the people with his presence by teaching them and to perform in a concrete way how love desires the wellbeing, the healing and the freedom of a person.
However, the scribes and the Pharisees were more concerned on how to accuse Jesus of something and then put him to death. One could not claim that these people were without love. They must have loved also, yet, their way of loving was filled with selfishness. They became corrupt and vicious. They felt threatened by the presence of Jesus who only desired goodness.
This tells us too that a corrupt and vicious person will always be threatened by the goodness and kindness, sincerity and truthfulness of others. They felt threatened by the presence of Jesus because the very person of the Lord, his way of life, teachings and works mirrored their incapacities, their corruption, their self-absorption, their malice and wickedness. Through the very person of Jesus, they were confronted and called to be healed and to be renewed.
Yet, these people could not because they were trapped in that kind of life. They could not because it was too much for them. Thus, with evil intent they have been looking for something to accuse Jesus and bring him to death.
However, the Lord cannot be stopped from doing good, from giving life and bringing healing to us. The Lord willfully healed the man on a Sabbath day to tell us how ridiculous “a law made by man” can be. Hence, the question of Jesus, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”
This question was directed to those who were with evil intent and those who were seeking to destroy life. Certainly, this is no love at all.
Today, the Lord also calls us to examine our way of loving and to learn the way the Lord loves. Loving in the way of the Lord would never go wrong. May our way of loving then, be motivated with the desire to bring goodness, healing and freedom. Hinaut pa.Tweet
Jom Baring, CSsR
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