Today’s Gospel brings to mind that old expression about not seeing the forest for the trees. As with the Pharisees, many of us tend to focus so much on the little details that we fail to see the bigger picture. Jesus is all about the big picture! When He preaches, He distills the myriad of laws down to just two: “Love God” and “Love your neighbour.” And, repeatedly, we see Jesus going against the law to do what is most pleasing to God – feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and teaching the lost. The heart of His mission was demonstrating God’s love and mercy, regardless of what day it happened to be, Sabbath or otherwise.
Speed limits and other rules of the road aren’t meant to spoil all our fun; their intent is to keep us safe. Likewise, we must look deeper and understand the intent behind God’s laws. Each is designed to draw us closer in love and unity with our heavenly Father. Since the ultimate litmus test is love, we must constantly question our actions by asking, “In this situation, what response requires more love?” If we try to make love for God and others the motivation for everything we say and do, then our hearts will be very close to God and the rest will come easily. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).” Love God first, then all the rest will flow from that.
– Kelley Holy