Homily – 2nd Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Mark 2:23-28
Homily at 8AM daily Mass at Our Lady of Fatima on January 22, 2019

Audio Recording

Love is greater than the Law

  • In today’s gospel the disciples pick and eat grains of wheat on the Sabbath, which violates one of the hundreds of Jewish laws
  • The Pharisees take issue with this and challenge Jesus as to why he allows them to do this
  • Jesus references scripture to show why caring for people’s needs is more important than the strict following of certain laws. 
  • He is teaching them (and us) that there are always valid exceptions to the law when it is in the best interest of someone. He is showing us that sabbath rest is not violated by serving God and neighbor. (CCC 582)
  • For the Pharisees, the Sabbath law had become an end in itself, rather than a means of leading people into living righteously. For them, the law had taken precedence over charity for one’s neighbor.

Don’t judge others

  • One lesson we can take from today’s gospel is that we should not judge others when they act in ways we believe are wrong. We don’t always know the reasons for their actions; we are not able to judge the hearts of others.
  • When we judge, we alienate those we judge. We set ourselves above them as if we are somehow better than they are.
  • God is a God of love. Jesus came to save all of us…
  • As we acknowledge in the penitential rite, he came to call sinners. 
  • Pope Francis has repeatedly said that the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a club for the perfect. Our job is to love others into the Church who need healing, and to recognize that we too need healing.
  • We should always be more concerned about correcting our own faults than we are about correcting the faults we see in others.
  • Rather than judging those who break God’s laws, as the Pharisees do in today’s gospel, we must love those who have strayed, love them into communion with Jesus and his Church
  • This often requires us to accept patterns of behavior that we know are wrong, but we pray will change over time. 
  • When my daughter was living with her fiancé before they were married, I made it clear that I didn’t approve, but I never did so in a way that drove a wedge between us. What good would it have done if I had turned my back on her for this? 
  • I prayed for her, eventually walked with her down the aisle in her Catholic wedding, and ultimately was asked to baptize her first child. While she still has a ways to go in regards to accepting everything the Church teaches, she’s making progress and I’m able to continue to witness to God’s love for her when I decided to maintain a relationship with her.
  • If we distance ourselves from and alienate those who sin, how can we be present to help to heal them? 
  • Perhaps today we can do something for someone who does not share our faith or beliefs, something that lets them know we truly care about them. 
  • Something simple, just to touch base, find out how they are doing and let them know we care about them.
  • The bottom line is that our job as Christians is to love others into relationship with Christ, not to accuse them of those things they are doing wrong. 
  • Let us never put the law before the needs of others. Rather, let us meet them where they are at and lead them by our love into a relationship with Christ.
  • God himself will heal them and, in time, give them the desire to live their lives in accordance with his laws. He will also continue to heal us for having been agents of his love.  God bless you.