Saturday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Saturday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary time

September 5, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 46b-15

Psalm 145

Luke 6:1-5

 

In today’s gospel narrative Jesus reminds us that substance, not form is the most important part of our relationship with God. 

Once again, the Pharisees question the actions of Jesus’ disciples  which provide Jesus with a teaching moment.  The disciples are hungry; they eat.  The Pharisees question their actions because they violate the Sabbath laws.  Jesus relates the story of David’s men eating the sacred bread when they were hungry, and concludes that the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath. 

Is our Lord telling us that it is acceptable to walk through a field and eat someone else’s grain?  I didn’t think Jesus was addressing property rights in this situation.  He was definitely speaking about spiritual matters.   Additionally, He was not suggesting that all Sabbath laws should be abolished.  He was pointing out that they should b be kept in proper perspective, 

What is that proper perspective?  I believe it is substance over form.  The Pharisees were obsessed with forms, with  unthinking adherence to  rules, and with allowing ritual to be adhered to for its own sake.  Our Lord is reminding us that the “substance” is the key.  Why does God call us to ”keep holy” the Sabbath?  I believe the reason is to remind us to take time to deepen our relationship with Him.  The traditional Jewish rules for the sab bath created a time and space in which people could pause regularly to deepen that relationship.  But the pause, the adherence, is the means to an end not the end itself.  If the result of the adherence to Sabbath rules is merely going through the motions one day a week and not-re-forming our lives on a regular basis, then we are like the Pharisees in this story.  If we view the call to Sabbath as an opportunity, then I believe we appreciate the substance of what Jesus is teaching us.

Question of the Day:  How will you choose to celebrate the Sabbath in accordance to Jesus’ teachings? 

Prayer:  Lord, make me aware to see the times when I am placing form over substance, when I am following rules and going through the motions, when I am unthinking, unfeeling and unaware in my prayer and spiritual life, and then for the grace to open my heart to change my life in response to Your call.  Amen.

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

Prosit

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