By Matthew Reinhardt, Consecrated Member of Regnum Christi
Luke 6: 1-5
Jesus was going through a field of grain on a
sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing
them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said,
"Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"
Jesus said to them in reply, "Have you not read
what David did when he and those who were with
him were hungry? How he went into the house of
God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests
could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with
his companions." Then he said to them, "The Son of
Man is lord of the sabbath."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I worship
you because I came from you. I long for you
because you made me for yourself. I praise you as
my ever-present helper. I call on you as my powerful
protector. ( Universal Prayer of Pope Clement XI )
purify my heart.
- The Pharisees’ Heart: Sometimes a short phrase
reveals so much about what is happening inside a person’s
mind and heart. One can get a glimpse into Hitler’s
corrupt heart with his famous phrase: “I do not see
why man should not be just as cruel as nature.”
His actions were of the cruelest. Thirty years ago, when
Saint John Paul II was elected pope, the simple phrase,
“Be not afraid”, indicated the attitude he would have for
the following 26 fearless years of his papacy. In this
passage the Pharisees say so much about the state of
their own hearts by saying so little: “Why are you
doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” The Pharisees are
all caught up in the externals of the law and
miss the big picture that Christ came to bring: complete
love for God and heroic love of neighbor. As Christians
we are not called to have a heart that calculates
the cost, but rather one filled with unconditional love.
A King’s Heart: Another character in this passage is King
David, whom Christ hails for having chosen to feed his
starving army over scrupulously following some norms of the law
regarding eating. From the story of David and Goliath, we
learn that David had a brave heart from his youth
and that he trusted in God over his own limitations.
Young David’s heart was honest and humble: King Saul was
trying to kill him, yet when David had the chance
to kill Saul in a cave, he relented and later
made amends with Saul. David’s heart was weak when he
fell in love with Uriah’s wife and then had Uriah
killed. Nevertheless David’s heart did not grow cold from this
sin; rather, he repented deeply: “Have mercy on me, God
in your goodness blot out my offenses, wash away all
my guilt, from my sin cleanse me” (Psalm 51). With
time and patience David formed a remarkable heart that loved
God and neighbor.
- The Sacred Heart: What love the
Heart of Christ shows his apostles in this passage. Imagine
the scene: Christ walking through a ripe field of grain
with his closest friends, laughing, joking, talking about the town
they just visited, speaking of their dreams, and also snacking
on the ripe harvest. Christ’s heart was so immersed with
love for these men who would be the pillars of
the Church and who would bring his message to the
whole world. How far his thoughts were from the littleness
and pettiness of the empty details of the worn out
laws! His law is the new law of love: “Behold
the heart that has so loved men.” Christ looks at
us the same way he looked at his apostles in
the field – as friends who are called to be
the pillars of the new evangelization, as apostles who are
to bring his words to the end of the earth.
He needs us to say “yes” to this call!
Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for the unconditional love of
your heart. I want to repay your love for me
by loving you back with the same intensity. I know
I always fall short of this, but you know my
heart, and you know I want to be close to
you until the day I meet you face-to-face in eternity.
With a repentant heart, I will go to confession today.