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Is It Lawful to Do Good on the Sabbath?

Do GoodIn today’s Gospel, Jesus asks. “is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than destroy it” (Luke 6:9)?  In the Theology course that I teach, on the Fundamentals of Catholic Moral Theology, I specifically address this question with my students. The scenario goes something like this:

A doctor and her family are on their way to Sunday Mass when they come upon a serious car accident. The doctor stopped her car to give comfort and aid to the victims of the crash, until the paramedics arrived. As a result, she and her family missed the last Mass of the day.

What I ask of my students is to tell me whether missing Mass is a sin, in this case. What do you think is the correct answer?

Do Good in the Spirit of the Law

In today’s passage from Luke, Jesus is asking a similar question of the Pharisees. In Jesus’ questioning, He debates the Pharisees on the strictness of the law, versus the spirit of the law. What Jesus tried to convey is that man was not made to serve the law, but that the law was made to serve man. Getting all caught up in the stringency of the law blinded the Pharisees to the spirit of the law. They lost all sight of what it means to do good.

What if Jesus asked you that question today that we read in the biblical passage? How would you respond? I would love to know what you think. Where do you stand on this question?

Also, if you want to know the correct answer to the scenario above, you’ll need to contact me, as several of my Theology students follow my blog. Can’t be giving away the answers now, can I? But, maybe they learned something by reading my blog. I can only hope.

This post also appears on Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, and Top Catholic Blogs.

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