September 6, 2014

The Gospel Today

Saturday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 6: 1-5

While 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Alfredo Dimaano, Jr.):

While I was still working, I was given the chance to take vacation leaves in a year. For me, I chose dates when there were celebrations within my family and I would choose those that were near the weekends so, my vacation will be maximized. Looking back at those experiences, I can affirm the choices I made were based on my own plans and preferences to serve well my personal interests. When I was on leave, I would even turn off any means of communication at times so I would not be reached by my boss in case there were problems in our servicing operations. “I must be resting and I am entitled to it”, or so I thought. It was as if I was telling myself that “I am the Lord of my ‘Sabbath’” and that nobody can disturb me.

Today, as I reflect on the Gospel narrative, Jesus is inviting me to put more love in the things that I do and not to think of my very own comfort and preferences. Even my personal vacations and retreats must make me available to serve the Lord in others. In that way, the name of the Lord will be more glorified. The Son of Man, Jesus, is the Lord of the Sabbath. At the same time, He is also the Lord who is himself, Love. Thus, even the self-entitlements that I think I possess must be replaced by my motivation to love and spend them by caring for others. Before, I thought that I was having a good time spending vacation but looking at it now, with all the luxurious spending, itineraries being followed strictly and other concerns, I had been a slave to my own plans which should not have happened. To be free is not to be out of touch with the world and all that is happening around me. But the opportunities for rest must also be chances to reach out and be available to all. Personal observances and stiffness in adhering to the laws I have set for myself could only lead me to rigidity and would hinder me eventually to do what I ought to do, that is, to praise, love, and reverence God.

 

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