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Exodus 11:10—12:14; Matthew 12:1-8

Walking through standing grain rings a bell in my experience, a reminiscence of childhood walks along still green wheat fields with my dad and brother. We were not hungry, we just picked heads of wheat for the fun of it, for the taste of the still milky grains. Jesus’ situation was different. He was an itinerant rabbi without income, depending on people’s goodness of heart and at times both he and his disciples were hungry, as the gospel reading tells us was the case today. So they helped themselves to a few heads of grain.

In my childhood case no one accused my brother or me of stealing: what is a few heads in a wheat field? Actually stealing was not the point of the Pharisees’ reproach either. What raised their hackles was the violation of a norm of behavior and this is precisely what Jesus rejects: the absolutizing of norms, placing norms above people. When we absolutize, we do not make allowances for special circumstances: upbringing, acumen, sickness, special needs... Jesus always made allowances. Remember the woman caught in adultery: financial pressure? blackmailing? The norm was valid for Jesus: you shall not commit adultery. But: neither do I condemn you... don’t do it again. For Jesus caring for the person was more important than caring for the rules.

We need to remain aware that the Sabbath is for people and not people for the Sabbath. Norms are for people, not vice versa.

By Luis Rodriguez



Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Brown Scapular

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* Our Way of Life *


"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)



"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)



"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)



"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)



"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)