In the Gospel reading Jesus heals a man suffering from dropsy on the sabbath day, despite the presence of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who found such healing as a violation of the sabbath. They could not refute Jesus, “If your lamb or your ox falls into a well on a sabbath day, who among you doesn’t hurry to pull it out?”
In their dedication to the letter of the Law as they read and saw it, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law missed the whole point of the Law based on love of God and neighbor.
In the first reading Paul mourns the reality that the people God had chosen, loved and shepherded did not accept the Messiah when he came: they failed to recognize him and his visitation. “How often would I have gathered your children together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you refused!” (Mt 23: 37)
“Woe to you! You do not forget the mint, anise and cumin seeds when you pay the tenth of everything, but then forget what is more fundamental in the Law: justice, mercy and faith.” (Mt 23: 23) May God preserve us from such blindness and hypocrisy in our lives.