Pronouncement about the Sabbath
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday Of The Second Week In Ordinary Time
(Christian Unity Week)
Let’s start this reflection with Jesus’ words to the Samaritan Women at the Well in John chapter 4, ‘a time will come and indeed it draws near and is upon you, when True Worshippers with worship the Almighty Father in Spirit and Truth.‘
To understand the Sabbath we need to understand the Adamic Covenant which is between God, creation and humanity. It is presented to us in a stylised form in the 6 + 1 = 7 days of Creation. Six Days when God worked and the seventh when He rested. Humanity was created on the sixth day with all the animals, but that is not our identity. Our vocation and call is to join the creator in the grace of the Seventh Day, and be like Him and rest in Him and His Presence. No other creature, not even the angels are given this privilege and honour. Those in authority amongst the Jews, post the Return from Babylonian Exile had reinvented the wheel. They made keeping rules, regulations and the Law the centre of the peoples lives. But the stress on God’s Rest in the story of Creation was to highlight how humanity in living its life and vocation needs to balance life with Work and Rest/Worship.
To give his questioners clarity and understanding, Jesus recalls to them how David while running for his Life from King Saul, asked for and was given the Showbread of God’s Presence, to eat, and He lived and did not die, though this was forbidden for anyone but the Priests by Mosaic Law (Not the ten Commandments). Because David’s attitude and love for God was in proper place. Similarly, Jesus points out that the Sabbath is meant to be a blessing for God’s People, to help them to live a full life, not to restrict them. To order their lives correctly, with God at the centre of their lives. Let us also then order our lives, placing God First in our lives. Let not the weight of work, money and pressure displace God from the prime place in our lives. And let our lives shine as beacons for those among us.