Extremism can come in many forms, and these days, we see more and more of religious extremism and intolerance happening. Extremists give the religion a bad name, since what they do and their way of thinking is actually distorted and diverted from what is the actual teaching of the particular religion. Such people take simple and straightforward teaching and make it complicated and radical. Sometimes, such extremists do such things to draw attention to themselves, and to attract especially the young to join their cause.
In today's Gospel, we come across a
bunch of extremists who are the lawyers and the Pharisees. These folks
held an extreme view, among many things, about keeping the sabbath. To them, keeping the sabbath means absolutely no work can be
done, not even good deeds. But Jesus caught them in an embarassing
situation when He said: "'Which of you here, if his son falls into a
well, or his ox, will not pull him out on a sabbath day without
hesitation?' And to this they could find no answer."
When we are dealing with
extremists, their minds are so warped and they have become so stubborn
and obstinate, that even doing good and merciful acts are
prohibited. This is why the lawyers and Pharisees could not and dared
not answer Jesus' challenge, since they would be conflicting their
absurd position if they were to agree that such a good or merciful deed
is permissable and commendable. What about us? Are some of
us extremists in one way or another? Have we put people off or caused
disharmony in our community with our extreme views through our
behaviour, attitude and conduct? Let us do away with such extreme views, so that we may learn to live and love
according to the ways of the Lord once again.