Friday of the 30th Week of the Year

Luke 14:1-6

Healing of the Man with Dropsy on the Sabbath

In today’s gospel one of the leading Pharisees invites Jesus to a dinner in his home on the Sabbath even if He had already repeatedly broken their Sabbath regulations. There are seven incidents the gospels have recorded in which Jesus heals on the Sabbath.  But unfortunately, each incident seems to incite increasing hostility from the religious leaders instead of drawing admiration and gratitude from them.  In this passage the scribes and Pharisees were watching Jesus on what He is going to do on the Sabbath. They want to catch Jesus in the act of breaking the Sabbath ritual so they might accuse him of breaking God’s law. In this sense they were certain that Jesus was a dangerous and irreligious man, a Sabbath-breaker, who must be stopped at all costs

Would the Christians of today be as attentive as the Pharisees in honoring Sunday as the Lord’s Day or Sabbath Day as a holy day? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2168) says that the third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the Sabbath: ‘The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD,’ (Ex 31:15).The Catechism (no. 2169) continued to say that in speaking of the Sabbath, Scripture recalls creation: ‘For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it,’ (Ex 20:11).

We need rest for physical, emotional and spiritual balance.  Others need us to have it to make life easier for them. Through resting ourselves we affirm our human needs, the power of God working through us, the role of being models for others to rest, and the importance of Sabbath. But we are also masters of our rest periods and need to realize that helping others is also important and necessary.  There are times we are to be free enough to give rest for the sake of others and we ought to discern when this must be done.

Just like Jesus, we see in Him being free enough to do what should be done and yet free enough to take time off to pray.  This requires a freedom to move as the Spirit directs us. And so like Jesus who had to break off a rest period to attend to those who seek Him, we are sometimes required to give up free time for pressing matters like the need to help others.  All of us need time to pray and at the same time we are driven to assist when others are in need and to stop what we are doing to help them.

What are we going to do concretely on Sabbath? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Sabbath is a day to rest from our daily work and to think about God. We can show how much we love God by doing good things on the Sabbath day.
  2. We show our love for God by attending Church, follow His teachings and taking the Sacrament. How we dress, behave and listen to priests is important too.
  3. At home we should keep the Sabbath day holy. It is a day to be with our families.
  4. We can listen to good music, play quiet games or go for a walk with our family. Reading the scriptures and scripture stories are good too.
  5. The Sabbath is a good day to serve others. We might draw pictures or write letters to relatives, loved ones, missionaries or people or people in the service and
  6. Visiting the sick, the aged and our loved ones is another way we can serve.

Do we know when to start and when to stop?

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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