… “Is it permitted on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil, to save life, or to kill?” Mark 3:4
Tradition and law help to define human culture. These practices and principles allow mankind to live in order by defining rules of behavior. Breaking these for the purpose of selfish gain or pleasure violates the spirit of humanity in the whole community. Such rebels should and must be corrected and, if need be, duly punished.
But, what happens when tradition and law are broken for better purposes? Should fasting be universally mandated to all in the same way, or is it a practice of individual conscience as long as he or she is on a path to spiritual truth? Must people be denied the things they need for the sake of maintaining a certain ideology? Shall people be left broken because to heal them would break a certain law? Jesus broke the tradition and law of his people. But, he did these things not to feed his greed or lust, which he didn’t have in him. No, he rebelled for the sake of spirit and humanity. The pursuit of holiness is more than self-denial of necessary nourishment. The needs of people should be met no matter what day it is. It is never the wrong day to do good, heal, and save.
Some misguided blacks as well as racist whites thought that Dr. Martin Luther King should have been patient and waited for the day of integration and racial reconciliation to come. But, from the Birmingham City Jail, he made us quite aware of the fact that no one should wait to bring about the goodness of God. It was illegal for Maximilian Kobe to give aid to persecuted Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland. This man with a German name could have easily avoided death at Auschwitz. But, he offered his life in the place of another. These and many others didn’t break the law for their own personal benefit. But, they did so in pursuit of spirit to give freedom and life to a suffering humanity.
Let us obey tradition and law that does maintain proper order for a functioning society. But, when they prevent people from receiving the fullness of spirit and life, God calls us to rebel and do so in the holy love of Jesus.
Your Brother in Christ our Lord,
Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene