Monday Labor Day September 7, 2009 of the 23rd week in ordinary time
Scripture readings; Colossians 1:24- 2: 3 Psalm 62: Luke 6: 6-11
Psalm Response; "In God is my safety and my glory"
I suspect this letter of Paul's is different than some of his other letters.
Often the writer of the letters attributed to specific authors were not exactly as he said; but, rather the writer would outline the theme and ask the scribe to put the theme into a coherent form.
One of the differences in this letter is the sentence length.
I always was chagrined Paul could say, in verse 24f, that his suffering for their sake, filled up what may have been lacking in the affliction of Christ. A better interpreter than I, clarified the situation for me when he pointed out, the context was that Paul knew the "Body of Christ" was the Church and we were expected by Christ to emulate Him in our everyday life to, if necessary, give up our life for the sake of His people.
Another aspect of these verses is the reference to Laodicea, one of the Churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. It was so named for its lukewarm attention to the mores of Christianity. In John's vision, the Lord proposed they be either hot or cold. If they remained lukewarm, He said He would spew them out of His mouth. Rather graphic!!
The psalm iterates the position of the people of God in every age.
Only God will give us eternal rest. He is the source of every good thing! Our Hope; Our Faith and Our Love all stem from His gift of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, He should always be at our beck and call when we are in trouble, serene or threatened in any way.
The Pharisees were the lay leaders of the Jewish people. They set the standard! therefore, when they observed the man with the withered hand, they weren't concerned about his pain and suffering. They were interested in perhaps, catching Christ in some sin based on their interpretation of the Law.
Even when He challenged them to be compassionate whether it was the Sabbath or any other day, they were over scrupulous and plotted to do Him ill when He showed He was the Lord of the Sabbath.
We can learn a lesson from the passage cited. Some of the practices we engage in aren't mandatory despite the urging of the Church to be involved in them. Rosaries, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and other devotions are exemplary and we should be involved in each or all! However, one daily celebration of the Eucharist is a thousand times more efficacious than thousands of our expressions in devotions!
Be like Paul. Although he was a Pharisee, he learned the Spirit, rather than the letter and put the spirit into practice; not to the exclusion of but placing the Eucharist first.