MEMORIAL OF SAINT PETER CLAVER, PRIEST
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
Psalm 54: 1-2, 4, 6
Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
But surely, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life.
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”
Today’s scriptures speak of all things being subject to God. In the first reading, St. Paul writes to the Colossians about how they were once hostile in mind, doing evil deeds but are now reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Because of Christ, they are now holy and blameless before God. In the gospel, Jesus teaches how the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches the Pharisees the essence of the Commandment to keeping the sabbath holy. Doing the work of mercy, feeding the flock, is the right kind of activity to perform. Jesus feeds us on the new sabbath day with his own body. Jesus gives of himself to make us holy.
Jesus understands, as the heir to the throne of David, that the king has authority and that he is anointed to provide for the needs of his men. The giving of the temple bread that is only lawful for the priests became licit when the king ruled that his men were hungry.
Our scriptures remind us who everything is for. Our efforts to serve and honor God are not merely rigid rules we institute to keep people in line, but they, in all things, are made for God and must be able to change according to God.
As followers of Christ, we are called to submit all things to Jesus and be willing to die to ourselves out of love for him. The coming of the Kingdom of God is the will of the Lord and the holy day is reserved for his business. One day we will enter into the rest of the Lord and mercy will be ours. But we can look forward to it and practice that in our day whenever we do the works of mercy.