Father Eugene Gormley, LC
Matthew 12: 1-8
Jesus was going
through a field of grain on the Sabbath. His disciples
were hungry and began to pick the heads of
grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they
said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what
is unlawful to do on the Sabbath." He said
to them, "Have you not read what David did when
he and his companions were hungry, how he went
into the house of God and ate the bread
of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only
the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not
read in the law that on the Sabbath the
priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are
innocent? I say to you, something greater than the
temple is here. If you knew what this meant, ´I
desire mercy, not sacrifice,´ you would not have condemned
these innocent men. For the Son of Man is
Lord of the Sabbath."
Introductory Prayer: Almighty and
ever-living God, I seek new strength from the courage of
Christ our shepherd. I believe in you, I hope
in you, and I seek to love you with all
my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and
all my strength. I want to be led one day
to join the saints in heaven, where your Son
Jesus Christ lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
me to make every Sunday a special day for me
and my family.
1. Fasting on Sunday? It was
the Sabbath, a day of rest. The disciples had had
a difficult and busy week, and they were hungry.
Jesus allowed them to look for food in the
fields. This could have discouraged them, not having a meal
waiting for them. But they were accustomed to hardship.
They were busy and had much to do. There
was little free time. Christ was busy on weekends; his
mission didn’t stop. The disciples were united with Jesus,
participating in his mission. This made all their sacrifices
worthwhile and easier to cope with. When we trust in
and unite ourselves with Christ, we can be patient
and at peace in the midst of trials.
2. The Confrontation:
The Sabbath was established in order for the Jewish
people to remember and reflect on their special covenant
relationship with God. He had delivered them from slavery
and given them rest. The Pharisees, however, focused on “what
you can’t do” and failed to see “what you
should do.” On Sundays, we should focus more on
what we should do in order to worthily receive Christ.
Then secondary things will not distract us from what
is essential. God has a special relationship with us.
He has delivered us from slavery. He continues to love
us and asks that we love him and others
with all our heart. On Sundays, do I recall
my covenant relationship with Our Lord? Am I mindful and
grateful for all the good things he has done
and continues to do for me? Does God take first
place for me on Sundays?
3. Sunday Service: Christ
instructed his disciples about his mission. They grew to
understand, appreciate and live it. He taught them to
participate at the Sabbath service with fervor, but also
to be open to any needs others might have, even
on the Sabbath. It is lawful to do good
any day of the week, especially the Lord’s Day. Christ
cured the man with the withered hand on the
Sabbath, fed his disciples on the Sabbath, and cured
another woman with a bent back on the Sabbath. Charity
will inspire us to do good to others even
on a Sunday. “Sunday service” and “Service-on-Sunday” go together.
Do I ever dedicate my Sundays, or part of
them, to bring rest to those who are most in
need? What can I do to help the poor
and marginalized on that day? How can I instill this
spirit of service in my children?
Conversation with Christ:
You long to share your Word and Body with
me at Sunday Mass and at every Mass I can
attend during the week. May I always have a
hunger for this encounter with your love and friendship.
May I serve others with the same charity and love
as you serve me. May Sunday be the most
important day of the week for me and my family.
Resolution: I will organize this coming Sunday to
be a day of worship and rest. I will try
to do good to someone this Sunday, and I
will help someone come back to Sunday Mass attendance.