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Picking grain on the Sabbath


Mt 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”


HAVE YOU NOT READ WHAT DAVID DID? The Pharisees accuse and condemn Jesus’ disciples right away for what seems to be an act of violation or disrespect for the Sabbath. Instead, they should have respectfully clarified with Jesus why his disciples did what appears a violation of the Law. By not doing so, they expose their ignorance of something they ought to have known: namely, previous instances when the bread of the Temple was eaten by people who were not allowed to do so.

In human relationships, we often rush at confronting people and accusing them without first hearing their side. On such occasions we may be put to shame by our rash behavior. Hence, it is always good practice to give people the benefit of the doubt and clarify with them the reason for their action. We will be surprised to know that people usually have very good reasons for their seemingly inappropriate or bad conduct.

Do we jump to conclusions before we check the facts? Let us give people the chance to air their side before we condemn them.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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