JAN. 19. ORDINARY TIME. (B) WK. 2. TUES. MK. 2. 23-28
Updated: Aug 22
One sabbath day, Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’
And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’
The central lesson of this Gospel Reading is found in Christ’s statement: “the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath”, as the Pharisees were of the view that Christ, the Son of God, must follow the Law!
Fortunately, for us sinners, this is not the case and Jesus makes this clear to everyone as it is such an important component of his teachings. The truth is Christ is not restricted by any law because one of his central duties is to show Mercy and Forgiveness to sinners!
We see this same teaching again later when the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was guilty of committing adultery. They came up to Jesus and told him he must condemn her for disobeying the law!
But Jesus, rather than agreeing with their earthly thinking, refused to do so and instead showed the woman mercy and compassion!
This lesson, as Jesus walked through the cornfields is a very important one, as he was pointing out to everyone that; - because he was God; - he did not have to “follow the rules” in the same way as everybody else!
This is something Christians can easily forget but it is a very important aspect of our Faith; - that God is not bound by any rules or laws, and he is free to act as he wishes.
The Pharisees were unable to see how ridiculous their thinking was, given that Christ was claiming to be the Son of God! It amounted to the creature telling the Creator how he must behave, a view that Christ had an obligation to refute as they were simply wrong!
How important this teaching is even today because if Christ was bound to “obey” the law it would simply be impossible for our sins to be forgiven and, as sinners, we would be unable to have “hope” that God would forgive our failings!
What Christ is really bearing witness to as he walks through these cornfields is that Love takes priority over any laws, a truth we can easily forget, even though we experience this truth ourselves on a regular basis; - when we go to confession!
Christ illustrates this point concisely in his reply to the Pharisees where he says: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath’; - a teaching that allows us to say: “Jesus, I Trust in Your Merciful Love!”
Gospel Acclamation cf.Ep1:17-18
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our heart
that we may see how great is the hope
to which we are called.
First reading Hebrews 6:10-20 · In this hope we have an anchor for our soul
God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the saints. Our one desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same earnestness to the end, to the perfect fulfilment of our hopes, never growing careless, but imitating those who have the faith and the perseverance to inherit the promises.
When God made the promise to Abraham, he swore by his own self, since it was impossible for him to swear by anyone greater: I will shower blessings on you and give you many descendants. Because of that, Abraham persevered and saw the promise fulfilled. Men, of course, swear an oath by something greater than themselves, and between men, confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God wanted to make the heirs to the promise thoroughly realise that his purpose was unalterable, he conveyed this by an oath; so that there would be two unalterable things in which it was impossible for God to be lying, and so that we, now we have found safety, should have a strong encouragement to take a firm grip on the hope that is held out to us. Here we have an anchor for our soul, as sure as it is firm, and reaching right through beyond the veil where Jesus has entered before us and on our behalf, to become a high priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.