The First Reading declares that God is faithful to his promise as he made good the promise he made to Abraham. The Hebrews only needed to be faithful, patient, and enduring in their efforts to imitate their models. God’s faithfulness to his promise may not come in the form or manner which we envisioned, but the fulfillment, we are assured, is certain. Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise God gave to the Hebrew ancestors. Unfortunately, he was not recognized and accepted, especially because, as shown in the Gospel, he seemed to have been a violator of the Sabbath. Yet, the “quality” or nature of his work on the Sabbath is never scrutinized: that it is really life-promoting, even life-saving. This is the problem with being too legalistic: some people are excessively concerned with laws to the neglect of the real intention of these laws. Ultimately, laws are aimed at protecting and promoting life and relationships. The Sabbath law is for God’s glorification and the welfare of the human person, and not the other way around. To do so is to make an “idol” of the Sabbath.
Gospel • Mark 2:23-28
As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”