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From: Mark 2:23-28

The Law of the Sabbath

[23] One Sabbath He (Jesus) was going through the grainfields; and as they
made their way His disciples began to pluck ears of grain. [24] And the Phari-
sees said to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
[25] And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was
in need and hungry, he and those who were with him: [26] how he entered the
house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence,
which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who
were with him?” [27] And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man,
not man for the Sabbath; [28] so the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”


24. Cf. note on Matthew 12:2. [Note on Matthew 12:2 states: “The Sabbath”:
this was the day the Jews set aside for worshipping God. God Himself, the ori-
ginator of the Sabbath (Genesis 2:3), ordered the Jewish people to avoid certain
kinds of work on this day (Exodus 20:8-11; 21:13; Deuteronomy 5:14) to leave
them free to give more time to God. As time went by, the rabbis complicated
this Divine precept: by Jesus’ time they had extended to 39 the list of kinds of
forbidden work.

The Pharisees accuse Jesus’ disciples of breaking the Sabbath. In the casuis-
try of the scribes and the Pharisees, plucking ears of corn was the same as har-
vesting, and crushing them was the same as milling—types of agricultural work
forbidden on the Sabbath.]

26-27. The bread of the Presence consisted of twelve loaves or cakes placed
each morning on the table in the sanctuary, as homage to the Lord from the
twelve tribes of Israel (cf. Leviticus 24:5-9). The loaves withdrawn to make room
for the fresh ones were reserved to the priests.

Abiathar’s action anticipates what Christ teaches here. Already in the Old Tes-
tament God had established a hierarchy in the precepts of the Law so that the
lesser ones yielded to the main ones.

This explains why a ceremonial precept (such as the one we are discussing)
should yield before a precept of the natural law. Similarly, the commandment
to keep the Sabbath does not come before the duty to seek basic subsistence.
Vatican II uses this passage of the Gospel to underline the value of the human
person over and above economic and social development: “The social order and
its development must constantly yield to the good of the person, since the order
of things must be subordinate to the order of persons and not the other way
around, as the Lord suggested when He said that the Sabbath was made for
man and not man for the Sabbath. The social order requires constant improve-
ment: it must be founded on truth, built on justice, and enlivened by love”
(”Gaudium Et Spes”, 26).

Finally in this passage Christ teaches God’s purpose in instituting the Sabbath:
God established it for man’s good, to help him rest and devote himself to Divine
worship in joy and peace. The Pharisees, through their interpretation of the Law,
had turned this day into a source of anguish and scruple due to all the various
prescriptions and prohibitions they introduced.

By proclaiming Himself ‘Lord of the Sabbath’, Jesus affirms His divinity and His
universal authority. Because He is Lord He has the power to establish other
laws, as Yahweh had in the Old Testament.

28. The Sabbath had been established not only for man’s rest but also to give
glory to God: that is the correct meaning of the expression “the Sabbath was
made for man.” Jesus has every right to say He is Lord of the Sabbath, be-
cause He is God. Christ restores to the weekly day of rest its full, religious
meaning: it is not just a matter of fulfilling a number of legal precepts or of con-
cern for physical well-being: the Sabbath belongs to God; it is one way, suited
to human nature, of rendering glory and honor to the Almighty. The Church,
from the time of the Apostles onwards, transferred the observance of this pre-
cept to the following day, Sunday—the Lord’s Day—in celebration of the resur-
rection of Christ.

“Son of Man”: the origin of the messianic meaning of this expression is to be
found particularly in the prophecy of Daniel 7:13ff, where Daniel, in a prophetic
vision, contemplates ‘one like the Son of Man’ coming down on the clouds of
Heaven, who even goes right up to God’s throne and is given dominion and glo-
ry and royal power over all peoples and nations. This expression appears 69
times in the Synoptic Gospels; Jesus prefers it to other ways of describing the
Messiah — such as Son of David, Messiah, et cetera — thereby avoiding the na-
tionalistic overtones those expressions had in Jewish minds at the time (cf. “In-
troduction to the Gospel according to St. Mark”, p. 62 above).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 01/21/2013 10:03:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading Hebrews 6:10-20 ©
God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the saints. Our one desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same earnestness to the end, to the perfect fulfilment of our hopes, never growing careless, but imitating those who have the faith and the perseverance to inherit the promises.
  When God made the promise to Abraham, he swore by his own self, since it was impossible for him to swear by anyone greater: I will shower blessings on you and give you many descendants. Because of that, Abraham persevered and saw the promise fulfilled. Men, of course, swear an oath by something greater than themselves, and between men, confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God wanted to make the heirs to the promise thoroughly realise that his purpose was unalterable, he conveyed this by an oath; so that there would be two unalterable things in which it was impossible for God to be lying, and so that we, now we have found safety, should have a strong encouragement to take a firm grip on the hope that is held out to us. Here we have an anchor for our soul, as sure as it is firm, and reaching right through beyond the veil where Jesus has entered before us and on our behalf, to become a high priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever.

Psalm Psalm 110:1-2,4-5,9,10 ©
The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind.
I will thank the Lord with all my heart
  in the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord,
  to be pondered by all who love them.
The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He makes us remember his wonders.
  The Lord is compassion and love.
He gives food to those who fear him;
  keeps his covenant ever in mind.
The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He has sent deliverance to his people
  and established his covenant for ever.
Holy his name, to be feared.
  His praise shall last for ever!
The Lord keeps his covenant ever in mind.

Gospel Acclamation Ps118:18
Alleluia, alleluia!
Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
Or cf.Ep1:17,18
Alleluia, alleluia!
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.

Gospel Mark 2:23-28 ©
One sabbath day Jesus happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’ And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’
  And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath.’

5 posted on 01/21/2013 10:06:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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