Daily Gospel Reflection

July 19, 2024


Defend Your Sabbath

3 min


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Gospel

Mt 12:1-8


At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears of grain and to eat. But 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 was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And 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.”

Readings are from Dynamic Catholic’s New Testament Bible: RSV Catholic Edition

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Transcript


Defend Your Sabbath

Welcome back to Radical and Relevant where, each day, we're listening for just a word, a phrase, or an idea from the gospel reading of the day so that we can anchor our day in that word, phrase, or idea. Today's reading is from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 12, verses 1 through 8. At that time, Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears of grain and to eat it. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." And he said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry and those who were with him, how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how, on the Sabbath, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are innocent? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what that means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice--' and if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

What jumps out at you today? What jumps out at me is the underlying concept, reality, and that is just Sabbath. We see in these readings, these last few days, just an enormous compassion that Jesus has for us as human beings. We see this desire to tend to our needs, to heal us, to take care of us. And the Sabbath is one of the most beautiful ways God has ever invented to take care of us. We've lost Sabbath in our culture. We've gone into this 24/7 reality. Our culture keeps us ever distracted so that we don't turn to God, so that we don't turn within. So we get obsessed with the outer life rather than developing the inner life. And so what jumps out at me today is just Sabbath. And I just feel, every week, so many things want to infringe on Sabbath. So many things want to steal Sabbath from us, and it takes real effort to defend and celebrate Sabbath in this day and age. So I encourage you today to think about how is it that you celebrate Sabbath. How is it that you allow God to tend to you on a Sunday? And how is it that you use Sunday to worship Him? Have an amazing day. Remember, Be Bold. Be Catholic.

July 19, 2024