SATURDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME SEPTEMBER 7, 2019
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 6:1-5
While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you not read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry? How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”
REFLECTION: Then he said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath."
The adage, looks can be deceiving, is true. I once had a new neighblor who put in an iron security gate on the front entryway of her house. I always think of homes that feature this added security as being in a "bad neighborhood". So, I wasn't too happy to think I live in one of those neighborhoods where fear of the unknown abounds. All I knew about my neighbor is that she used a wheelchair to get around, so I thought she must want extra security because of her limitation. However, I was wrong. I visited with her one day and found out she has a very young child. My neighbor wanted to make sure her child didn't start wandering down the street if the child opened the front door unnoticed.
My neighbor was seeing about the needs of her family, just like Jesus and the disciples were meeting their essential needs by gathering grain and eating on the sabbath. In today's Gospel, Jesus not only answered the Pharisees' objection about breaking the law, he went further in his answer. Our Lord did not hesitate to explain to the Pharisees his true authority. He is the "Lord of the sabbath". I can only imagine the Pharisees' displeasure in hearing Jesus's comeback that placed him above all others. Jesus left no imagination to his authority over God's holy day.
We should invite our thoughts to examine how we spend the sabbath. When we attend mass, are we giving God glory and spending time worshiping him? Do we offer ourselves with the holy sacrifice, becoming one with Jesus? Jesus shares Himself with Christians around the world, just like David shared the "bread of offering" with his companions. However, Jesus' food is different. He gives us his own heart in the form of bread. We too are called to give our hearts to the Lord of the sabbath and in doing so, we become more like Him.