At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests.
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today is the memorial of St. Bonaventure—Franciscan theologian and philosopher. Like St. Francis, St. Bonaventure had a love of nature and went on to say, “it is through created things that God speaks to us and gives us a glimpse of himself.”
In today’s Gospel, we encounter Jesus embroiled in a controversy with the Pharisees over the meaning of keeping the Sabbath.The Sabbath was meant to be a time when ordinary work ceased, so as to remember and celebrate God’s goodness. However, Jesus defends the disciples’ actions and argues that mercy and kindness in response to human need are more important to keeping the Sabbath than is legalistic sacrifice.
Let us pause today and embrace moments of Sabbath in our own life. Summer has a way of connecting Christ and creation similar to the words of St. Bonaventure because it is a beautiful season that feeds our body and soul. Take a moment today to find God in the nature that surrounds you.
—Kathleen Cullen Ritter serves as Director of Campus Ministry at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee, WI. She attended Marquette University and served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp in Bend, OR.
The Mission of My Life
God has created me to do him some definite service.
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission.
I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection…
—John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)Please share the Good Word with your friends!