Daily Bible Reading
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 12:1-8.
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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Enter into the rest of the Lord
Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
On the literal meaning of Genesis, IV, 13-14
"God looked at everything he had made: that it was good ... And he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken," (Gen 1:31-2,2). We see that God's works are good and we shall see his rest after all our own works, if they are good. It was as a sign of this rest that he ordained the observance of the Sabbath to the Hebrews. However, they practiced it in so material a way that they accused our Lord when they saw him working out our salvation on that particular day. This earned them the pointed reply: "My Father is at work until now and so I work," (Jn 5:17), not just in upholding all creation together with him but, even more, in working out our salvation.
But when grace was revealed, the faithful were relieved of their Sabbath observance, which comprised the rest of a single day. Now, by grace, Christians observe a perpetual Sabbath, if the good things they do are done in hope of the coming rest and they do not glory in their good works as though they were their own and not something they had received. By doing this, and by receiving and considering the sacrament of baptism as a Sabbath, that is to say as the Lord's rest in the tomb (Rom 6:4), they rest from their former works, walk the ways of a new life and acknowledge that God acts in them - God, who both acts in them in that he rules over his creatures as they require, and who rests in that he possesses within himself everlasting repose.
God was not worn out by creating nor rested in ceasing to create but, through the language of Holy Scripture, he wanted to stir up in us a desire for his rest ... He wanted to make this day holy ... as though, even for him who is unwearied in working, rest is of more value than action. This is indeed what the Gospel teaches us when the Savior tells us that Mary, when she sat and remained in rest at his feet to hear his word, had chosen a part better than that of Martha, even though the latter was busy with the good work of serving (Lk 10:39f.).