Meditation of the Apostolic Nuncio, Apostolic Nunciature, New Delhi, Saturday 5 September 2020

Gospel: Luke 6: 1-5

The Gospel today speaks about the conflict concerning the observance of the Sabbath. Not only in the form of expression, but in His very practice and mode of action, did the Lord begin to absolve man from the observance of the old law.

Now the Evangelist says on the second sabbath after the first, because the Jews called every feast a sabbath. For sabbath means rest. Frequently therefore was there feasting at the preparation, and they called the preparation a sabbath because of the feast, and hence they gave to the principal sabbath the name of the second-first, as being the second in consequence of the festival of the day preceding.

For the Lord’s disciples having no opportunity for eating because the multitudes, were naturally hungry, but by plucking the ears of corn they relieved their hunger, which is a mark of a strict habit of life, not seeking for prepared meats, but mere simple food.

Some say that these remarks were objected to our Lord Himself; they might indeed have been objected by different persons, both to our Lord Himself and His disciples, but to whomsoever the objection is made, it chiefly refers to Him.

But the Lord proves the defenders of the law to be ignorant of what belongs to the law, bringing the example of David. And mark, that whenever the Lord speaks for His servants, (i. e. His disciples,) He brings forward servants, as for example David and the Priests; but when for Himself, He introduces His Father; as in that place, My Father works hitherto, and I work (John 5:17.)

The Lord reproves them in another way, and he said unto them, that the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. As if he said, I am the Lord of the sabbath, as being He who ordained it, and as the Legislator I have power to lose the sabbath; for Christ was called the Son of man, who being the Son of God yet condescended in a miraculous manner to be made and called for man’s sake the Son of man.  Saint Ambrose affirms herein is a great mystery. For the field is the whole world, the corn is the abundant harvest of the saints in the seed of the human race, the ears of corn are the fruits of the Church, which the Apostles shaking off by their works fed upon, nourishing themselves with our increase, and by their mighty miracles, as it were out of the bodily husks, plucking forth the fruits of the mind to the light of faith.