There were scribes and Pharisees in the congregation and, we are told, they “were watching him” to see whether he would heal the man on a Sabbath day so that they could accuse him of breaking the Law. Jesus, of course, is fully aware of what is going on. He speaks directly to the disabled man: “Rise up and stand out in the middle!” The command to “rise up” is already an indication of what is going to take place; the man is going to be given back the capacity to walk and lead a normal life. For him, the Law was relative to the dignity and well-being of the person, especially the sick and helpless. No implementation of a law can offend the well-being of everyone. And sometimes following the dignity of the human person may have to go against the letter of the law. What is legal is not always moral. It can be immoral, that is, evil, to obey a law in certain circumstances. What is moral goes beyond the law and may even contradict the law. We will find ourselves in situations where contemporary Pharisees will try to put the Church to proclaim a judgmental God and force fundamentalism in our understanding of the Scripture or the liturgy or morality or something else. These are people who put the letter of the laws, regulations and rubrics before mercy and love. For them it is more important to observe the externals of rules than to be a loving person. They are preoccupied with following the law or the commandments and the exclusion of those who violate them. They forget that the mercy of God is where true faith is lived.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018