We continue to hear from the beginning of the book of Mark in our Gospel readings this week. Yesterday, the Pharisees observed the disciples of Jesus picking up grain from the fields and eating it, accusing them of working on the Sabbath, a practice forbidden under Jewish law. Today, the Pharisees are watching to see if Jesus is going to cure a man of a withered hand on the Sabbath, again forbidden under Jewish law and custom. It amazes me how the Pharisees are always trying to trap Jesus, to get him into trouble. They don’t see the joy and the wonder in what he is doing to proclaim God’s kingdom.
We see this in our current age as well. We see people who always view the cup half-empty rather than the cup half-full. We see people who try to obey God’s laws and commandments rigorously and without any joy. I always try to live out my priesthood with a sense of joy about it, rather than trying to mechanically observe the laws of our faith. The older I get, the more I see how joy and happiness in our lives are all about our attitudes and how we approach things. Two people can look at the same thing and one can see something ugly while the other can see a thing of beauty. May this sense of joy always be a part of our faith and a part of how we see God in the world.