MERCY, NECESSITY AND THE SABBATH LAW

Daily Reflection for Mon. 11th Sept, 2017 by Rev. Fr.Charles Eze

Succinctly, laws are ordinances of good human reason for the common good. Common good itself is superior to the laws in a master-servant relationship. Sabbath laws in the Jewish culture serves as the maintenance of the holiness of the day wrought by the salvific work of God. The Jewish insistence on and the proliferation of the Sabbath laws was a misrepresentation of the essence of the holiness of Sabbath with the institutionalization of its guiding laws. The essence of the holiness of the Sabbath is therefore the continuation of the salvific work of God in Christ. One would wonder why Christ did seven of his healing miracles on the Sabbath. It is a commemoration of the salvific work of God. And he said, “My Father still goes on working, and I am at work too” Jn, 5,17. So, out of mercy and necessity, God saved mankind, out of mercy and necessity, we too have to keep the day of the Lord holy by furthering the works of salvation as Christ did. In the same vein, a monk gave out a sacred image to a poor beggar to sell and feed himself, a guru burnt an object of adoration by pilgrims to keep the same pilgrims warm, and a deacon sold the sacred utensils to feed the clamoring urchins. When it comes to the work of salvation, the same work that sanctified the Sabbath day, then the laws of the same Sabbath have to wait. Doctors and nurses would not abandon a dying patient in the hospital just to fulfill the law of attending a mass on Sunday. Such a one would be as St. Paul suffering happily because one knows is the work of salvation. Therefore, keep the Sabbath holy by being at work for the salvation of mankind.

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