Wednesday, 28th Week in Ordinary Time      

            “These you should have done, without overlooking the others.”

            In the first woe against the Pharisee, Jesus accuses them of neglecting justice and love of God while offering tithes of small herbs (mint, rue, and the like). Strikto sila sa pagtupad at pagpapatupad sa tamang halaga, bahagi o percentage na dapat nilang ialay sa Diyos na angkop o proportionate sa kanilang inaani. Subalit binabalewala nila ang hinihingi ng katarungan. They neglect the demands of justice and love.

            William Barclay has this enlightening commentary on today’s gospel passage: “The scribes shut the people off from Scripture.” “Their interpretation of Scripture was so fantastic that it was impossible for ordinary people to understand it.” “In their hands Scripture became a book of riddles.” “In their mistaken ingenuity they refused to see its plain meaning themselves, and they would not let anyone else see it either.” “The Scriptures had become the property of the expert and a dark mystery to ordinary people.”

            While Robert Barron has this commentary: Some religious leaders get their kicks from burdening people, laying the law on them heavily, making demands that are terrible, exulting in their own moral superiority.” “At the core of Jesus’ program is a willingness to bear other people’s burdens, to help them carry their loads.” “And this applies to the moral life as well.” “If we lay the burden of God’s law on people, we must be willing, at the same time, to help them bear that burden.”

            In other words, we must not only talk about God’s commandments, we must also help people to follow them. We must not only preach about the gospel demands we must also help people to meet them. We must not only speak of the Church’s moral teachings, we must also help people to live by them. In short, we must help others carry their loads, as Jesus did. How? First of all, by making them realize and see that we are in this together. We must also contribute to creating an environment of mutual support – enabling each one to be the better version of themselves.

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