Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Feast: Our Lady of Mount Carmel— In the 14th Century, she instituted the Carmelite Order. Feast commemorates the anniversary of the day in 1251when the Blessed Mother gave the brown scapular to Saint Simon Stock. “For those who wear it, “Pope Benedict explained, “it is a sign of filial abandonment to the protection of the Immaculate Virgin."(From the Magnificat, July 2021)
Book of Exodus 11:10-12-14, Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18, & Matthew 12:1-8
Have you ever been hungry? I don’t mean “a little peckish,” but hungry. When we are hungry, we eat, and we are satisfied. It sounds pretty straightforward except that when the disciples, in today’s Gospel narrative, performed the “act of picking,” the grain or harvesting, which constitutes work forbidden on the Sabbath. Therefore, you can eat on the Sabbath but couldn’t do any work. Well, who cooks the meals? Who cleans up after it is consumed? If someone commits a crime on the Sabbath, would the soldiers be able to make an arrest, or do they have to wait until the next day? Those Pharisees, Oy!
In the Gospel, Jesus shows historical precedent; David and his men were hungry, and they ate the blessed bread simply because they were hungry. The bottom line is that human needs take precedent over the law.
Today's reading is a precursor to the Gospel about Jesus being criticized for “healing” on the Sabbath. It’s the same old misinterpretation of what constitutes work. We all remember the story Jesus told about the animal that wanders off and falls into a hole, and its owner is allowed to retrieve it so it will not die. Aren’t people more important than animals? Should our Lord not heal people who are suffering because it is the Sabbath? More importantly, should He let someone be lost to heaven just because it’s the Sabbath?
In our Gospel, Jesus shows us that, at times, there are good reasons for breaking the rules. How else could we understand when He says, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” Bon appetite!
Question of the Day: Will you be aware that the Sabbath is for people and not people for the Sabbath?
Prayer: “I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.”