We are accustomed to the gentle Jesus, the humble carpenter who taught us to “turn the other cheek.” But there is another side to him—the bold breaker of rules when those rules do not serve justice, love and mercy.
The gospel of Luke (6:1-5), for instance, tells of the Sabbath day when the disciples of Jesus picked and ate grain from a field as they were passing by. The Pharisees, of course, were quick to condemn them for “working” on the Sabbath.
Jesus answered, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions." Then Jesus told them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
The lesson for us is that God’s mercy transcends rules and regulations. Any hour of the day is a good time to do good. Any day of the week is a good time to ask for God’s mercy. Any time at all is a good time to show mercy to a neighbor.
This is why Pope Francis urges us not to be afraid of making mistakes in our efforts to do good.
Our prayer for today: Dear Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath and Lord of Mercy, strengthen us as we seek to serve justice, love and mercy.