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MEMORIAL OF SAINT ANTHONY, ABBOTT

Hebrews 6:10-20


Brothers and sisters:

God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.



Psalm 111:1-2, 4-5, 9, 10c

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.

He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.

He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.

His praise endures forever.


Mark 2:23-28


One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

(NRSVCE) Meditation


As Jesus is going through the grainfields with his disciples, we see that the Pharisees are right there with them, ready to criticize what they are doing. The Pharisees are the dispensers of the law, and they hold everything up to what they have written in the law, though it had grown way beyond what was given to them by God originally. The law was held up as an idol and it had lost its sense of humanity.


Jesus was always teaching about the Spirit behind the law. If a man is hungry, he needs to eat and God provides. If the disciples need to eat on the sabbath day, they will be fed. As the word declares, “He provides food for those who fear him.”


The sabbath day is the day of rest when God rested from his works. It is a symbolic day for us as a time when we await the new world of everlasting life that requires our participation. We focus on God and do works of mercy on that day, serving the Lord and thanking Him for his gift of sacrifice that draws us to Him.


The Pharisees showed diligence in their protection of the law and this new law of love that begins with Jesus’ death on the cross, needs our diligence as well. We must not become sluggish if we want to inherit the promises of God but imitate the faith given to us through Jesus and the saints. God will reward us on the last day for our work and our love as we minister to him in hope. Let us be found trusting in God’s ways and carrying out His will on our last day.

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