The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jimmy Sales SVD (Philippines) Thursday Week 28 Ordinary Time, Rom 3:21-30, Lk 11:47-54
The Scribes were the experts of the law of Moses (Torah), while the Pharisees were a religious group among the Jews who were dedicated to a very strict observance of the Law of Moses and expected others to follow their lead. That is why the Scribes and Pharisees always went together and together they were criticized by Jesus.
But Jesus‘ criticism against them was not about their knowledge of the Law but how their lives were lived based on their knowledge. There was just a big discrepancy between their knowledge of the law and how they conducted their lives.
In spite of their strict observance of the law, they forgot one thing, as Jesus himself pointed out, mercy and compassion. This discrepancy bred hatred and intolerance against those who did not follow their example. And they took it against Jesus for trying to refocus their strict regard for the law when he said, “It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).
Jesus is once again reminding us to be consistent with our lives. The rituals of our religion should be put into practice in our daily lives as we deal with our brothers and sisters from all walks of life, across culture and creed, beyond the boundaries of language and color of skin. We do all this, guided by his saving love.