Col 1:21-23; Ps 54:3,4,6,8; Lk 6:1-5
The saints are our patrons and models in our own time of chaos and insecurity. Indeed, together with them we cry out: in the words of the Responsorial Psalm many times, “Oh God, by your name save me, and by your might defend my cause.” We need to trust that God hears our prayers and harkens to the words of our mouths. The LORD is our helper; the LORD transforms our frail humanity into a sanctified humanity. The LORD sustains our life, his life in this world when confronting the powers that be and his life in the world to come. The saints of every age offer sacrifice, the sacrifice of their own lives, and they praise the name of the LORD for He is good and his kindness is beyond all measure. Indeed, the Lord’s whole life summons us to become a living sacrifice of praise.
One of the spiritual insights that Saint Paul discovered in his prayer and ministry is that our reconciliation in the Body of Christ is something that demands a constant perseverance in virtue and contemplation. To be holy, without blemish and irreproachable before the Blessed Trinity demands that we persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel we have heard. This Gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which Saint Paul is a minister. This Gospel has the power to alienate us from our hostile minds and evil deeds. Indeed, his grace and mercy alone can enable us to detest all our sin and to love God above all else and our neighbor as our selves. The apostolic work of Saint Paul and all the saints would have been impossible without a genuine intimacy with the Lord Jesus and the Father in the Holy Spirit. Our continuation of this Christ-like compassion demands of us a similar commitment to prayer and fasting to cast out demons and to heal the sick. Signs and wonders abound in the lives of those who pray and live a life of self-sacrifice.
The Lord Jesus wants his disciples, great ones like Saint Paul and Saint Gregory the Great, as well as everyday disciples, like us, to know who they are and to whom they belong. He takes on the public criticism of those who condemn his disciples. As their Lord and Master, he holds himself responsible for their behavior. Some Pharisees are scandalized that this great preacher and worker of miracles seem to be unfaithful to the Law. The Lord Jesus challenges them to remember their own Scriptures; after all, they are the readers and commentators on these holy documents. If David can get away with doing what is unlawful, eating the bread of offering, then I who am the true and faithful Son of David can let my disciples get away with picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. The Lord Jesus is more than the Son of David; he is the Son of Man and Lord of the Sabbath. In his very person the whole law and the prophets are fulfilled. His faithfulness is seen and proven upon the Cross-that establishes the Day of Rest. His Sabbath is greater than any Sabbath yet observed in Israel. Indeed, he is the Sabbath Rest, “come to me, you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will give you rest”. Indeed, this Son of Man, this full human and fully divine Son of God knows the love of the Father that can alone give us our true identity. We too, are lords of the Sabbath because we know the Father’s heart. Indeed we know that he wants us to eat and drink, to rest, in his Son in whom we know who we are and to whom we belong.