Epistle: Ephesians 3. 13-21; Gospel: St. Luke 14. 1-11
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
"Which of you, having an ass or an ox that has fallen into a well, will
not immediately pull him out on a sabbath day?"
The Pharisees "were watching" the Lord in order to trap him breaking
the laws and so discredit him, and when they saw him cure the man with
dropsy on the Sabbath, he knew their hearts and challenged them in this
way. The Lord recalls the Pharisees to the authentic understanding of the
law which would have easily enabled them to understand Christ's actions
on the Sabbath. He shows how God's laws of mercy and aid to those in need
has a higher authority than a corrupt interpretation of law which would
tolerate injustice toward men while allowing exceptions for animals. These
Pharisees and other leaders of the people would not have hesitated to save
an animal on which their livelihood depended on the Sabbath, but hypocritically
would have shrunk from helping a fellow man in need.
In our own day we have many organizations fighting to save every endangered
species with the exception of the most endangered and the most precious
species of all: the child in the womb. Married couples dote over a dog
or cat as if it were their "child", often calling it such, while engaging
in anti-life practices in order to avoid conceiving a human child created
in God's image, or to kill a child already conceived. But there is room
in their lives and hearts only for pet animals and not for a child with
which God is prepared to bless them.
Man in great measure today has made his own laws and vociferously enforces
obedience to such measures. For these God's holy and immutable laws are
non-existent or forgotten.
...Jesus issued a solemn warning in which he presented God's law, given
on Sinai during the first covenant, in light of the grace of the New Covenant:
Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have
come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven
and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass
from the law, until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one
of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same,
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and
teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5: 17-19)
We are called in Christ to fulfill the law, and to keep the commandments
which call us to reverence human life above all other life, to worship
and obey God alone, in particular through the Sunday liturgy. We must remain
steadfast and resolute in a lawless age in order that we may be called
"great in the kingdom of heaven."
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we
"meet Christ in the liturgy",
- Father Cusick
(See also CCC 575, 582, 588)
Used with the permission of Fr. Cusick from his website.