23 One Sabbath he was going through the grain fields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25 And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" 27 And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; 28 so the Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
The rules and regulations are necessary for social living. There are some who can’t bear with such restrictions and huddles which block their freedom and liberty. In their rudely behaviour they just can’t bear anything which directs or orientates their acts. However in today’s gospel that is not the case to worry about.
In every human relationship and social living, we should be able discern why we do, what we do, how we do, and why this time and why this way. What are the consequences of such act? Without getting the answers to these questions, if we engage, we may end up doing something against our own will and our own well-being.
The history is the best teacher of life. All radical thinkers and forward looking people have answered these questions and were firmly directed by the conviction and wisdom. Though they might have been rejected by the then society, they were however honoured for their thinking and acting.
Jesus is asking each and every one of us, to take the responsibility of our thinking and acting. Since He is our master, we are asked to follow His thinking pattern and imitate Him in our actualization of our projects. Like Him, we too one day, in Him, will become the master of Sabbath.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The Lord of the Sabbath, by John Chrysostom, 547-407 A.D.
"Doubtless he speaks of himself when he mentions the 'Lord of the sabbath' (Mark 2:28, Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5). Mark relates a complementary saying about our common human nature, that “the sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the sabbath (Mark 2:27). Why then should someone who gathered sticks on the sabbath be censured? The law that was established earlier could not be scorned without jeopardizing the law to be given later.
"The sabbath did confer many benefits, great blessings in the earlier dispensation. It made people more gentle toward those close to them. It guided them toward being more sympathetic. It located them temporally within God's creation and providence, as Ezekiel knew (Ezekiel 20:19-20). The sabbath trained Israel by degrees to abstain from evil and disposed them to listen to the things of the Spirit.
"They would have stretched the law out of shape if, when he was giving the law of the sabbath, Jesus had said, 'You can work on the sabbath, but just do good works, do nothing evil.' This would have brought out the worst in them. So he restrained them from doing any works at all on the sabbath. And even this stricter prohibition did not keep them in line. But he himself, in the very act of giving the law of the sabbath, gave them a veiled sign of things to come. For by saying, 'You must do no work, except what shall be done for your life' (Exodus 12:16), he indicated that the intent of the law was to have them refrain from evil works only, not all works. Even in the temple, much went on during the sabbath, and with great diligence and double toil. Thus even by this very shadowy saying Jesus was secretly opening the truth to them. Did Christ then attempt to repeal a law so beneficial as the sabbath law? Far from it. Rather, he greatly magnified the sabbath. For with Christ came the time for everyone to be trained by a higher requirement." (excerpt from THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 39.3)