Sunday 5 June 2016

Friday of Week 30 Year 1

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.

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