My father works and so will I.
These word are spoken by Jesus when He was criticized by the Jews for working on Sabbath. The Jews were people who were very fanatic in their religious thinking. For them religion was more about following rules and regulations than following the principles of religion to make them better human beings.
The Jews believed that just because God chose to rest on the seventh day, man should also do the same. But they forgot to see that God rested only from creation on the seventh day, His higher works of judgement, and mercy, and compassion and love still went on. He cares and holds together all that has been made. When we see the sun rising and setting and the moon running in its cycles, the lakes and the fountains, the rivers and rains, running their course, our bodies too and those of irrational beings continuously working, we learn the ceaseless working of the Father. For He makes the sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.
What Jesus is saying here is that, human need must always be helped – that there is no greater task than to relieve someone’s pain and distress, and that a Christian’s compassion must be like God’s unceasing compassion with no boundaries of time or day. Other work may be laid aside but the work of compassion-never. Like the Jews, we too are sometimes too fanatic about our thinking. We are more concerned about the making a noise about religious riff-raff than being bothered about transforming our lives or those of others. We know very well about Christian virtues of compassion, love and mercy, but putting them into action is not something we actually bother too much about. We would rather write about it or talk about it. Mercy, compassion, and love are fulfilled only when an act for the same is performed. There is no point saying we feel compassion if we cannot show it or shower an act on our fellow human. Its like saying, “Oh I feel bad for you, but I can’t do anything to help you.”
Jesus taught of love and compassion. A true Christian should be someone like the good Samaritan who can take time out of his work to pour oil on the wounds of the needy. Our material goods are given to us not to be stored up in storehouses but to be used wisely for the Kingdom of God. By being kind and compassionate we are not only imitating God but above all we are fulfilling our Christian duty, one that we are answerable to the God the Heavenly Father for.
Let us then learn to be good Christians by working beyond boundaries that are we created around us. Boundaries of time, day, place, color, creed. Let us learn to understand the true meaning of the gospel instead of bordering around frivolous acts and thus become good Christian example to our peers.