Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?

Published October 29, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Reflections today

A Latin axiom states: Ubi maior, minor cessat—“Where the greater is, the lesser ceases.” In Jesus’ rhetoric, man is of greater importance than the ox. Also, in the presence of a more important person, the less important one gives way. Jesus’ authority surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, since Jesus shares the power of God. He is the Lord of the Sabbath. His care for humanity, the highest of God’s creation, transcends the ritual regulations even of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is meant to be a day of rest, but is also meant to give honor to God, the Creator of all things. And the glory of God is man or woman fully alive.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the Magnesian Christians, tells them to transcend the traditional way of keeping the Sabbath: “Let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body; admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before… nor walking within a prescribed space… And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days.”

GOSPEL • LUKE 14:1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them, “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: