“Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.’” (Lk 6:5)
In this part of his gospel, St. Luke presents various teachings on discipleship. The chapter opens with Jesus and his disciples walking through a field of grain on the sabbath and an ensuing conflict with some Pharisees because his followers were gathering heads of grain along the way and eating them, a violation of the sabbath rest.
The gospels attest that Jesus was a faithful observer of the sabbath. Luke 4:16 says, “He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day.” Jesus was no iconoclast. In this instance, however, he speaks in defense of his followers who are hungry.
Jesus’ critics see him as disrespecting divine law. Luke would have us understand that Jesus, who is closest to the heart of the Father, recognizes that “satisfying human needs such as hunger and performing works of mercy take precedence even over the sacred sabbath rest” (Revised New American Bible). Jesus helps us to see the true meaning and spirit of the law, which is intended to draw us closer to God and make us imitators of God in our words and actions.
St. Peter Julian Eymard wrote: “The Eucharist is the life of the people. The Eucharist gives them a center of life. All can come together without the barriers of race or language. . . . It gives them a law of life, that of charity, of which it is the source.”
Where can you bring the love of God today?
Let us pray:
Through your presence in the Eucharist, Lord Jesus, draw me closer to the Father this day. May my words and actions reveal God’s love to others. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)