Sunday, August 26, 2018
One Sabbath while Jesus was walking through the fields of grain, His disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then He said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” – Luke 6:1-5
Hundreds of times I have read this passage, but only of late I have gained a measure of clarity as to the emphasis that Christ is making. The Pharisees are not the definers of what is the way to keep a proper Sabbath … nor are you and me the definers of what is the way to keep a proper Sabbath. Yet the Pharisees tried with their nit-picking rules; yet people life us try with our self-indulgent desires. But Christ taught that the Son of Man, the One who would come to administer (judge) the New Realm would be the definer. Yet Christ did not make a new set rules but rather introduced instead a new quality of spirit.
Sabbath is to be a day different from all the other days in terms of an intentional quality of spirit. Sabbath is not merely a day off but rather a day for spending holy time, set-apart from the world time, in what Rabbi Herschel described as a “cathedral in Time”. Sabbath is a quality of Time where the clocks and the pace give way to the timelessness of heaven. It is not about keeping rules of what is permitted and what is not permitted, but rather about entering into that “cathedral of Time”.
The Sabbath is a quality of Time which restores one’s strength and restores one’s peace. The Sabbath is a quality of Time which has within it a loftier perspective and a wider vision. The Sabbath is a quality of Time that allows Wonders to become a part of us and allows our souls to become part of the Wonder. The Sabbath is a quality of Time when one can once again hear the breathing of God and the sighing of the earth.
An older saint, a grace-filled woman told me a story one day. When she was a little girl she always had to polish the silver with her Monday on Sunday afternoon. As one might expect, she would have rather be doing anything else but polishing silver. But strangely, when she became a mother, she and her children did the same ritual. The she said when Time brought into her later years … she began to correlate the polishing of silver on the Sabbath with the polishing of the soul on the Sabbath.
I find wisdom in that woman’s ritual of polishing the silver … time for polishing what is truly of worth in one’s life.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz