One Sabbath he was walking through grain fields. As his disciples walked along with him, they began to pick the heads of grain and crush them in their hands. Then the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look! They are doing what is forbidden on the Sabbath!”
And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did in his time of need; when he and his men were very hungry?
He went into the House of God, when Abiathar was High Priest, and ate; the bread of offering, which only the priests are allowed to eat, and he also gave some to the men who were with him.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is master even of the Sabbath.”
In today’s first reading, we have one of the profoundest statements of the Bible: “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart” (NAB). In this case we learn how the prophet Samuel’s preferences for choosing a new king are entirely based on appearances: stature, good looks, imposing presence. And, as we learn from the rest of the story, he is always dead wrong.
How many of our judgments on people are based on very exterior things such as looks, job occupation, way of dressing, make-up, fashion, etc.? It is astounding to see how much space is given in daily newspapers to fashionable clothes, fashionable shoes, fashionable perfumes, etc. In all this, only the exterior appearance is valued—as if people had no souls! Yet, God sees us from a completely different point of view. He looks into our hearts. Since we ourselves are unable to do so, why judge people at all? We simply lack the data to do so fairly. “Do not judge and you will not be judged,” Jesus tells us (Mt 7:1).
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