I wonder how often people do not take advantage of the opportunity to do good. Every day I believe we are all presented with situations in which we can do something or say something that will benefit someone. God, after all, uses each of us to answer one another's prayers many times. But many times we do not, for a variety of reasons. I am too busy, they should help themselves, nobody gave me anything. The list could on and on.Jesus was faced with a similar reaction today in Mark's Gospel (3:1-6). The Pharisees had been using the "Sabbath excuse" for years, and wanted to see if He would follow suit. Jesus, however, did not fall for it. Instead, He turned things around and put them on the spot. when He put the question to them "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil", he was met with silence. They knew that their excuse did not hold up. And they knew that the law of love (You shall love the Lord, your God... You shall love your neighbor...) was supreme above all other laws. In other words, their excuses fell on deaf ears with God. The sad thing is that, instead of changing when they realized this, they turned on Jesus and began plotting against Him.
It makes me take a harder look at my own life. What excuses do I use when God presents me with opportunities to love?Oh, I am very busy, have lots of responsibilities, fall into bed exhausted, cannot take on another thing. But do any of these mean that I do not have to respond with love to the people God places in my path?
This day I need to look more closely and respond more openly, seeing opportunities instead of obstacles, divine encounters instead of distractions. After all, what excuse do I think is reasonable when I ask God for help?