Thought of the day
Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

"The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath."

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 ; cf 20,8).

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).

Scripture also reveals in the Lord's day a memorial of Israel's liberation from bondage in Egypt: "You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day" (Dt 5,15). 

God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant. The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel...

The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day. He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath"  (Mk 2,27). With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing (Mk 3,4). The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honour God. "The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."