Jesus’ question to the Pharisees and Scribes serves not only as a challenge to those present, but also to us who, likewise, are called to know and reflect the heart of God to one another and in the world around us. Notice that he leaves no room for a middle ground: one either does good or does harm; one either saves a life or destroys it—and this in reference to a man whose condition was not life-threatening or even necessarily urgent. The uncomfortable truth with which we are confronted in this is that, in the face of suffering and human need, there is no neutral position. We either do good or we do harm; we either save a life or we destroy it—and the decision we make in this matter is the ultimate reflection of whether or not we have understood the heart of God’s law and are obedient to it.

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