The Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.
We are all aware of our Sunday obligation to attend Mass and observe this day as a day of rest. But have you ever thought of the Sabbath as a gift instead of a duty? Because that’s what it really is. God gave us the Sabbath so that we could take a break from the daily grind to worship him, relax in his presence, and find refreshment as we prepare for the week ahead. Yet for all these blessings, we can still look at the Sabbath as a burden more than the gift it’s intended to be.
Some of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time gave in to a similar temptation. In their zeal for the Law of Moses, they turned the Sabbath into a long list of dos and don’ts and expected everyone else to follow them. As self-styled enforcers of the Sabbath, they were always on the lookout for violations. So naturally, Jesus’ “violation” of the Sabbath caught their attention. And it wasn’t just this one time. He had gained some notoriety as “that rabbi who keeps healing people on the Sabbath.” They were so focused on their interpretation of the Law of Moses that they missed recognizing Jesus as the promised Messiah—and Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8).
Don’t you miss out as well! Accept the Sabbath as God’s special gift to you. Treasure it as a source of renewal and restoration. Jesus wants to spend unhurried, leisurely time with you so that he can minister to you and so that you can get to know him in a deeper way. He wants to celebrate his resurrection with you and your parish family at Mass. He is also inviting you to reconnect with family and friends, to enjoy some recreation, or to just curl up with a good book. Let him give you the grace you need to accomplish all that he is calling you to do in the next six days.
What does your Sunday look like? Is there anything you can change so that you can receive more of the blessings God wants to give you on the Sabbath? The more you embrace his gift of rest, the more you’ll discover that it’s a gift that keeps on giving!
“Lord, thank you for the gift of sabbath rest.”
Word Among Us