Friday of the fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Friday of the fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 17, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry


Book of the Prophet Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

Psalm (Isaiah) 38

Matthew 12:1-8


We all know our Ten Commandments.  In today’s Gospel we are asked what does the Third Commandment, “Remember to keep Holy the Lord’s Day” mean.  What then does this commandment actually require of us?  Or better yet, what is the primary intention behind this command?

The religious leaders confronted Jesus on this issue.  The “Sabbath rest” was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and the goodness of His work, both in creation and redemption.  It was intended to bring ever day work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment.  Jesus’ disciples are scolded by the scribes and Pharisees, not for plucking and eating corn from the fields, but for doing so on the Sabbath.

In defending His disciples, Jesus argues using the scriptures that human need has precedence over ritual custom.  He said that in their hunger, David and his men ate of the holy bread offered in the Temple.  Our Lord then quotes from the prophet Hosea (6:6) “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”

My friends, many of us are old enough to remember the old “Blue Laws.”  They were also known as the “Sunday Laws” that restricted some or all Sunday activities for religious standards.  There were restrictions on shopping and the ban of selling certain items.  Sunday was a day of rest.  Blue Laws still exist but not to the same extent we remember.  On July 6, 2014, Pope Francis said that Sunday is not a day for labor but a day for family and charitable work.  It is a day to “Remember to keep Holy the Lord’s Day.”

While the claims of ritual sacrifice are important to God, mercy and kindness in response to our human need are even more important.  Let us honor the Lord and our neighbor and never forget to celebrate the Lord’s Day.

Question of the Day:  On the Sabbath will you prioritize Holy Mass (in person or virtually,) minimize distractions and plan rejuvenating and restful activities?

Prayer:  My Lord and God, I trust only in You.  Bless and increase my faith as I live out Your Commandments joyfully.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as fro peace in our country and in our world.


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