Friday: 19th July, 2019
Reference text: Matthew 12:1-8
Matthew 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
Worldwide, festivals are celebrated often to commemorate an event or occurrence in the life of a group of people. In addition, other celebrations like anniversaries are times to rejoice over key milestones achieved on any journey. Thus, we could say that the one thing common to Christmas, Easter, the Passover and the Sabbath is the fact that each is celebrated with a reason in mind.
Therefore the question ‘What exactly do we celebrate on those occasions and why do we bother to continue celebrating?’ does sound a bit unwarranted. Nonetheless, it seems to have a place because many people tend to join celebrations without knowing the reasons behind them. In fact, even many more join in just because they are told to.
This fact has some relevance to us because if we are not careful, we will begin to embrace the letter of things and lose sight of the essence thereof. In other words, we will forget the real reasons we do things, service and love, while clinging to traditions and protocols. Inadvertently, we probably won’t be any different from robots.
As we see in the Gospel today, for the Jews, the Sabbath was ‘a big deal’; an untouchable day which when violated in the slightest sense spelled trouble for anyone. Thus, they ended up more as superficial proponents of the day, than as people for whom it was meant to mean much more.
My dear, when the essence of something is ignored, it becomes nothing more than a vague attempt to enforce or follow tradition, something rather unprofitable.
So let us go back to the basics: to the times when the understanding of why we did things was paramount. To the times when we followed because we wanted to, and not just because we are told to. Let us go back to the essence, not just the letter.