Jesus humiliates some confrontational Pharisees and proclaims He is the Lord of the Sabbath. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Religion so he can steadfastly keep his Sunday Obligation to attend the Holy Mass and by pursuing the Virtue of Piety so can more fully receive the astound fruits of Holy Communion. 

Liturgy

22nd Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 6:1-5

Commentary

Continuing the confrontation and rebuke of the Pharisees, Jesus now begins to implement His plan of reestablishing the Sabbath in His Eucharist. Jesus is directly accused by the Pharisees for breaking the law because His disciples plucked grain to eat on the Sabbath. The Pharisees, in their attempts to gain God’s favor, had extended the Mosaic ritual laws that forbid harvesting grain on the Sabbath to include plucking grain by the hungry. 

Jesus humiliates (“Have you not read”) and rebukes the prideful Pharisees for their lack of understanding of Scripture, reminding them that David’s men ate showbread in the Temple. Showbread, called “Bread of the Presence” was bread that was ritually laid out as an offering to God, in the presence of God in the Temple. Remarkably, Jesus cryptically refers to His Eucharist by references to “showbread” in the Temple which will become His  Body and Blood in the Eucharist.  

Jesus mysteriously discloses His Divinity, saying, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” The Pharisees would have been both shocked and uncertain; Jesus’ statement is a statement about both the promised Messiah and God, but He doesn’t directly claim to be either the Son of Man or the Lord of the Sabbath. Instead, Jesus bides His time, preparing for His Passion according to His own plan. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Many men have a false impression of Jesus as exclusively “meek and mild”, often portrayed as a “lady with a beard”; this false view of Jesus is based on poor catechesis and a failure to diligently study the life of Jesus as accurately portrayed in the Gospels. Marvel at the combative Personality of Jesus shown in this passage: after being accused of breaking the law (which is His law), Jesus uses Humor to Mock the Pharisees who prided themselves on having an authoritative understanding of the Scriptures; He marshals His Divine Knowledge and perfect understanding of the Scriptures to refute the Pharisees’ false accusation; He goes further, despite the Pharisees’ power and influence, asserting He is the Son of Man and Lord of the Sabbath, which, instead of deescalating, Courageously escalates the conflict with the Pharisees to an even higher degree. 

Steadfastly keep your Sunday obligation of the Mass

Realize: The Church calls all Catholics to give glory to God the Father, draw close to Jesus in the Eucharist and receive the Spirit on Sunday; no Catholic man has the authority to decide if he may miss his obligation to attend Sunday Mass and missing a Mass requires either prior approval from a priest or the man must confess the grave sin of missing Sunday mass in the Sacrament of Penance. 

Believe: Recall that Catholics are Obligated (must do to avoid a state of mortal sin – CCC 2181) to attend Mass every Sunday (CCC 2041, 2177-2183).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me grow in the Virtue of Religion (a part of Justice) so that I never again fail in my Sunday obligation to give thanks, glory and praise to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Practice piety to receive the fruits of Holy Communion

Realize: Every Catholic man can become distracted in Mass, taking the Eucharist for granted and missing its profound and miraculous meaning. 

Believe: Reflect upon the many Fruits of Holy Communion (CCC 1391-1401, 1416).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Eucharist, help me build the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I grow in knowledge and awe of the reality of Your life-saving gift of the Eucharist and help me to always hunger for, prepare, and more fully receive the many fruits of Holy Communion.