(My book of daily meditations for Lent is now available from Ave Maria Press:https://www.avemariapress.com/product/1-59471-363-4/The-Living-Gospel-Daily-Devotions-for-Lent-2013/ It is available also at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Devotions-Lent-Living-Gospel/dp/1594713634/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335995419&sr=8-1 )
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Ordinary 2 Tuesday
"Christianity," insists Pope Benedict, "is more than a series of requirements and laws." Instead, he continued, "It is the gift of a friendship that lasts through life and death."
One wonders if today’s gospel was in the back of his mind when he wrote those words. As we heard, Jesus was challenged because his disciples weren’t keeping certain rules about how the Sabbath day should be kept. For his part, Jesus responded with a challenge of his own, explaining that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
In effect, Jesus was sending a message that our religion is not simply about the keeping of rules and laws. Instead, Christianity is about relationship. Laws are necessary, but they are not an end in and of themselves. They are the means to an end- a loving relationship with God, and a loving relationship with each other.
We don’t earn God’s love by keeping his laws. God’s laws express his love for us, and our keeping of them expresses our love for him. You see, Jesus did not die and rise again to give us laws. He did so, to give us life.