Homilette for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 6:10-20; Mark 2:23-28)

Many years ago, when the school year went considerably longer than the institutional requirement, an old pastor, Monsignor Joseph, declared the feast of his patron saint a holiday in his parochial school. No doubt he acted out of love for his spiritual children. Although he was denying them a small opportunity to learn, he was showing how Christ gives us great cause to celebrate. Not anyone could proclaim such a holiday, but the pastor then had the authority.

In the same way Jesus demonstrates his authority over the law governing the Sabbath in today’s gospel. He permits the disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath not because they are hungry but simply as a benefit of accompanying him. As the anointed son of God, Jesus possesses the authority to dispense the Law as he sees fit.

However, individuals have no such authority. We must take care not to alter God’s law according to our preferences. But the more important lesson here is that we look to Jesus as his disciples surely do after he grants them the indulgence of picking grain. We too should find in him the joy of our lives.