Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 16, 2024


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R/. I have found my servant David

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts that we may know what is the hope to which he has called us.

R/. Alleluia

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck ears of corn. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

1.      Human thinking and reasoning are good and needed, but cannot supersede divine wisdom and will. Often despite the heights of intelligence and capacities, people go wrong in their perception, decisions, and actions.

2.       The reason is they do not get into the deep of their heart and the matter; they do not interiorize. They do not listen and adhere to the promptings of the Spirit. They remain stuck only to the external layers and fail to go beneath and beyond them.

3.       They think that they are using their reason and are reasonable. In fact, their reason is “clouded’. They are actually “prejudiced”. Consequently, they fail to see the reality in its depth. This is why many even though well-educated and highly placed, are easily carried away by external and peripheral factors like caste, region, religion, language, culture, et cetera.

4.       This is what differentiates God from humans. God states this clearly to Samuel, “the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”. The context is Samuel choosing a king for Israel from the sons of Jesse.

5.       God cautions him not to be carried away by the externals like height and weight. Therein, God provides this corrective about His nature. God looks at the heart and so is not conditioned by the impressing external appearance of other sons of Jesse. Rather He looks at the heart of David.

6.       In the gospel too, this contrast is seen between Jesus’ perspective and that of the Pharisees regarding his disciples. Jesus looks at the simple hearts and the hunger of his disciples beyond their apparent breach of the Sabbath.

7.       But the Pharisees look at the disciples with a negative eye because of their spiritless practice of law. Jesus makes it clear that all the rules are under God’s reign and control, and no rule is above him. Besides, all the rules are to be benevolent, that is, for the good of humans.

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