Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary 436. I Cor.4:9-15. Psalm 145:17-18.19-20.21. Luke
Both Paul, the disciples, and Jesus suffer from the rejection of many with
whom they lived and spoke with. This is painful for anyone let alone for
those trying to bring the Good News to them. Paul describes for us what
sorts of sufferings and rejections he endured because of his love for
Jesus. He and his followers are made out to be fools for Jesus. They work
without pay so as not to be a burden to anyone; they are even sneered at
and treated roughly by many people. But because of the depth of their
faith in Jesus and the mission confided to Paul and the disciples they cry
out as our Psalm says, "The Lord is near to all who trust in him." (Psalm
Once again Jesus is confronted on a sabbath for allowing his disciples to
pick kernels of grain to assuage their hunger. This is according to the
ones who are observing Jesus and trying to catch him in breaking the law.
Jesus is not doing that but as he said fulfilling it and not changing one
iota of it. He realizes their questioning him is not a good idea for one
who can interpret the law at a deeper and more reasonable level. He has to
show them that there are exceptions to many of the prescriptions they think
are not acceptable. The Torah is divine revelation for humans and it is
reasonable. Take a look at what David did when he fed his men with the
sacred bread even though this was not permitted. Religion is reasonable
and rituals should also be in tune with what is reasonable and for our
benefit. Jesus' interpretation goes deeper into the issue at hand and
proves that the disciples were not doing anything wrong. It may have taken
them less than ten minutes to pluck the grains to satisfy their hunger.
Finally, he also shows his authority when he says, "The Son of Man is Lord
even of the Sabbath."
Luke is also writing for his community and the above situation would help
those Christians who thought they had to observe the Jewish laws about the
sabbath. By appealing to Jesus' divine authority they would not feel
guilty about the new style of life that was beginning to find its way as to
what is appropriate for the rest that all need on a sacred day of the week
whether that be Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Later manuals would indicate
what consists in doing servile work and what breaks the sacred rest of one
day dedicated to the Lord and to the refreshment of our bodies and souls.
Common sense is a very good way of interpreting most rules--even those that
are sacred. Amen.
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