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Saturday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus was trying to make the Pharisees realize there were some exceptions to the rigid sabbath laws. They were criticizing his disciples for “pulling off grain heads with their hands and eating them as they were walking through the fields.” That was against the religious laws for the sabbath day.

There were many things the Jews were not allowed to do on Saturday. It was considered to be the Lord’s Day, and nothing that hinted of work for pay or the doing of ordinary duties around the farm or the house was permitted. Such actions were considered sinful.

We used to have rules for Sundays too – one of them being no unnecessary manual labor like housework or working at our regular paying jobs - but it seems all rules have been either suspended or ignored by most of us. As long as we attend Mass on Sundays, or Saturday night, we go on living as if it were any other day of the week.

We clean house, wash our clothes, cut the grass, and shop. The excuse is that Sunday is the only day some people are able to take care of these necessities since they work at their paying jobs the other days of the week. And that may be quite true. But how about the rest of us who could do those things on other days? The blue laws have been ended in most towns, and so the malls are open; those who work in them are required to be there on Sundays as well as on any other day of the week. Some people go to their offices to do some catch-up work. It seems we never catch up.

Keeping the spirit of the Lord’s Day means focusing our attention on God, and not just for the hour we are in church. We are to realize his goodness, thank him, and examine how we have been treating people and improving our characters. It is supposed to be a day of rest physically and mentally from our ordinary routine; some recreation is in order. Jesus has shown us that God doesn’t want a rigid rule system for Sundays, but we seem to have gone to the other extreme.

We still call Sunday the Lord’s Day; the day God commanded us to keep holy. How many of us can honestly say we are making an attempt to do that? As we live this day and every day, let us trust in God. Let us look inward and read what God has written on our own hearts so that we may never stray from his path.

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