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Common Rue (Herb-of-Grace)
Rue...and Mercy

Anyone grow rue this summer? In our Gospel today as Jesus is challenging the Pharisees, he mentions rue. This is the only time rue is mentioned in scripture. You may have figured out that rue is a plant. Rue can be used in many ways. Rue can be used as a condiment, medicinally, and as a pesticide. But rue was not a staple of everyday life like grain. It sounds like the Pharisees spend more time on something miniscule, rather than something more important as “judgment and love for God.” This portion of the Gospel made me think of times in my own personal life where I have gotten caught up in a tiny detail and miss the big picture. I find it interesting that a scholar of the law spoke up and said, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” I figured, stay quiet and let the Pharisees take the brunt, but it seems that details such as this were important to them, too.

Jesus’ response to the scholar of law is a call to mercy. Jesus is challenging them to take it easy on the people. We are mindful of the burdens we may place on our loved ones, and we try to be considerate of what others have on their plate. But maybe we know someone who has a lot going on. I think many of our parents now have their children doing online learning, and that can be a new stressor, rearranging work schedules. Let’s keep in prayer all those who carry a heavy load. Maybe we can reach out to someone with a heavy burden and see if there is something we can do to help them.

God bless and stay safe!

In Christ,

Fr. Steve Breck
Pastor, St. Mary Magdalene