In today’s Gospel passage, the Pharisees express their concern that the apostles are doing something that is unlawful on the Sabbath. First of all, it must be said that their concern is genuine. One cannot simply discount it as another of the Pharisees attempts to trip up Jesus. After all, the Sabbath was considered important enough by God that one of the Ten Commandments was entirely devoted to the identification of this day as sacred.
That which we hold sacred shapes the choices that we make and the values that we espouse. The purpose of the sacred is to help us to recognize God in our lives and to grow closer in our relationship to God. On at least two occasions mentioned in St. Luke’s Gospel thusfar, Jesus has been identified as the Holy One of God. He is sacred. The apostles have recognized this in him and have left everything to follow him. So they cannot be accused of disregarding the sacred in their lives. Jesus points this out to the Pharisees and likens their following of him to the loyalty shown to King David by his courtiers.
The Gospel asks us today to consider what it is that we hold sacred in our own lives and to reflect on how it helps us to grow deeper in our relationship with God. What we believe shapes our understanding not only of God, but of ourselves and of others. We are called to constantly grow in our relationship with God, and in doing so to increase our understanding of what he calls us to in this life.
As we celebrate this sacred meal, let us pray for a greater understanding of its meaning. May this meaning wash over us to increase our faith, and better serve the Lord of the Sabbath.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator