The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jerry Songcog SVD (Madagascar)
Friday Week 15 Ordinary Time, Ex 11:10-12:14, Mt 12:1-8
Nowadays, there‘s a proliferation of fake news, particularly in the Internet. Some are presented in a very astute way that they easily mislead even the most discerning readers. Some are just obviously fake. People who believe fake news tend to believe in what they want to believe, disregarding their duty to find out the truth and to adhere fo it.
News readers are not the only ones who have the tendency to read news according to some preconceived truths. Scripture readers too! Some use the Scriptures simply to prove one‘s ideas or beliefs. Some understand the Scriptures according to a criteria already established as normative. However, God‘s Word is the work of God‘s living Spirit; it requires readers” openness and readiness to be guided and be challenged by the Spirit.
When the Pharisees confronted him about his disciples‘ picking heads of grain and eating them on a Sabbath, Jesus asked them if they had ever read the Scriptures that showed how David and his men as well as the priests had acted contrary to the written law for the sake of a reason much greater. We can presuppose that they, as connoisseurs of the law, had read these passages that Jesus mentioned.
However, their interpretation was limited by the criteria they had already set for themselves. Were they willing to understand the Scriptures in a different way other than through a literal interpretation of the law? Jesus challenged the Pharisees, and us, to read Scriptures in the light of God‘s mercy and compassion to better understand them.