The Question about the Sabbath


Reflection on the Gospel of the Saturday
Of The Twenty-Second Week In Ordinary Time


Luke 6:1-5

Israel’s revered ancestor David was highly regarded. He was a man after God’s own heart. Someone who with all his faults and failings, was much cherished and held in high regard as prophet, king and priest. At the beginning when King Saul made plans to kill him, he without preparation ran away to save himself. Without any food for himself or his men, he approached Ahimelech (1 Samuel 21) the priest who served at the Tabernacle-Tent of God (the earlier place of the Ark of the Covenant, before the building of the Temple). David asked him to provide him with some food. Ahimelech, offered him the showbread of God’s Presence in the Tabernacle, if David and his men had kept themselves from women, for some time.

There are two comparisons in this Gospel Passage, one to Jesus’ priesthood, and by effect that of the Apostles, in the Kingdom (of God) Jesus was establishing (read Acts of the  Apostles). The other comparison being that Jesus is giving them insight into his own identity. He is the son of King David, come now to assume his rightful throne, just as predicted by Isaiah… He is the stump of Jesse (Isaiah 11), from whom salvation and glory will flow back to all Israel. He is David’s Lord, the uncut stone from the Mountain (Daniel), that would destroy the Roman empire, the New Moses, He was God’s Son, He is the Bridegroom of Israel – how can they then fast and not celebrate. And in a way he was asking the Pharisees who asked him the question, and He is also asking us… ‘“I the Son of man am lord of the sabbath.” – believe in me…’

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