Mt 12:1-8  Lord of the Sabbath text

*Sabbath, along with circumcision, dietary laws, were signs of faithfulness to jewish religion.

*Jeremiah had linked the failure to observe the Sabbath with the destruction of Jerusalem and exile.

*Therefore, the Pharisees believed that, in order to save the jewish religion, they had to enforce the law rigidly.

Thus they saw Jesus as a threat

*Today also we need to walk a narrow path between the liberals (who want to adapt to the world) and those who believe that faithfulness to Christ requires a rigid observance of the law. Both are wrong. The motivation behind the last group is FEAR that any flexibility in the observance of the law would lead to all kinds of justifications to sin and to a capitulation to the surrounding pagan culture. Their concerns are valid but they are lacking faith in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They see anyone not with them as a liberal. They equate faithfulness to God to rigid observance of the law.

*Jesus teaches that He Himself is the fulfillement of the law. But how could they have believed in Jesus if He was doing something so different from what they believed. This is the lesson for us. We cannot rely on observance of the law. We must enter a personal relationship with Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the ways of the Hear of Jesus. He will teach us to go deep into the meaning of the law with the light of faith. The Church is a living Body with Jesus as the Head and He is constantly drawing us deeper into the truth.

*St Paul taught that we are saved by faith in Jesus, not by the works of the law. Is this a license for immorality? NO! St. Paul then tells the Galatians that he is crucified with Christ as a response to His love. This means that he puts to death the rebellion of the flesh in order to live by faith, a faith that is in oneness with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a victim of love as a total donation to the Father.