Meditating on Today’s Lectio

“Do it with love,” my mother always said. Which made each chore reasonable, and obedience an act of love. Later, I worked in a factory that prided itself at not only meeting all its legal obligations, but was always trying to improve on intended rules. As a result employees too were in return loyal, creative and co-operative.
Jesus, like a football coach, is always asking for that extra effort. Sometimes he states the impossible. “It is easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle”. “Be perfect as I am”. “You can move mountains,” and so on. But, he also shows he has power over the underworld when he calms the sea. He can tell the paralytic to take up his mat and walk. He teaches with authority and wisdom, backing up his words with practical acts of mercy, compassion and love. Who would not follow him? But, like the coach he sets the game plan. “You want to be my disciples, follow me”.
A paradox arises when he says things like,” I did not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it “, and again, “Not a letter of the law will be altered”. How does this sit with one who claims to be the “Master of the Sabbath”? And, one who constantly seems to challenge not only the law but also the custodians of the law? The answer seems to be more in the method of the teaching rather than the teaching itself.
To me he seems to say, “I do not want a slavish adherence to dogma. Challenge it in your environment and validate it. I have given you gifts of reason, discernment and freedom of choice. Do not belittle my law by bovine following. Thank me for setting higher standards for you. Do not be dismayed, for I am always with you to hold your hand, to show you the path and to meet you at the end of the journey. In this you will find that my yoke indeed is easy and my burden light”.