Foundation of life – law versus virtue or law and virtue?

 
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Friday of 15th week, based on Exodus 11:10-12:14, Matthew 12:1-8

Exodus 11:10-12:14

Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Matthew 12:1-8

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Mark O'Brien, O.P.

About Mark O'Brien, O.P.

Mark O'Brien lectures at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, which is the combined seminary and theological faculty for seminarians and anyone who wishes to do a degree in Catholic Theology. He currently writes the homiletic notes for the institute's publication 'The Australasian Catholic Record' which goes around Australia and the Pacific.

One thought on “Foundation of life – law versus virtue or law and virtue?

  1. Thank you

    Prayer

    In the broken world I live in
    Where little stays the same
    Where the shadows that I’m chasing
    My soul have come to claim

    It’s a desperate empty feeling
    That never goes away
    In the hallowed halls of solitude
    It haunts me night and day

    I’m sure of your protection
    And the love you give to me
    When delusion comes to steal my sight
    May in your light I be

    When the clouds of doubt and sorrow
    Come to drive me sure insane
    Help me believe in your awesome love
    And that you know my name

    Please forgive me for my empty pride
    That destroys your love for me
    Help me find you in my blindness
    For it’s you I long to see

    © Jim Espinosa 2009

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