7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him; 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
Let us look into the Person of Jesus and the way we approach Him in our daily lives. The Person who has given His life for us, not as a high priest who mediates us, as par the instruction received from Moses, rather offering Himself as a pure offering, which will be accepted by the Father for the forgiveness of our sins. He becomes at the same time the Priest par excellence and the offering.
It is to this Person that we are called to serve and imitate. Let us not reduce our attachment to the person just to the material or spiritual needs, rather the wholeness of our being as nourished by this special offering of the Jesus on the Cross. The suffering He undertook for us on the Cross, for the finality of our salvation and that we may not suffer. He hasn't come to punish us, rather to save us.
In this theological approach, if we learn to relate with Jesus in a right way, everything changes from its essence, because our relationship with Jesus, transforms our being. It is not that He gives us something, rather He takes us in Him and we become like Him.
«What does the Law allow us to do on the sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill?»
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Sant Quirze del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, Jesus tells us we must always do good: there is no such thing as a time to do good and a time to overlook our love for others. The love we get through God brings us to the supreme Law, Jesus left with us, in the new commandment: «Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another» (Jn 13:34). Jesus neither repeals nor criticizes Moses' Law, inasmuch as He is the first one to comply with its precepts and go to the synagogue on the Sabbath; what Jesus criticizes is the narrow minded version of the Law by its masters and the Pharisees, an interpretation leaving little room for mercy.
Jesus Christ has come to proclaim the Gospel of salvation, but his antagonists, far from being convinced, seek all kind of pretexts against him: «A man who had a paralyzed hand was there and some people watched Jesus: Would He heal the man on the Sabbath? If He did they could accuse him.» (Mk 3:1-2). At the same time as we witness the power of grace, we also see how hardhearted, those boastful men who though they had the truth on their side, were. Were those Pharisees joyful upon realizing that poor man had been cured hand? Certainly not, rather on the contrary, they were even more blinded, to the point of rushing to make a deal with Herod's supporters —their natural foes— looking for a way to destroy Jesus. Some alliance!
With his action, Jesus also removes the chains with which the masters of the Law and the Pharisees had constrained the Sabbath while conferring it its true meaning: the day of communion between God and man, the day of liberation from slavery, the day of salvation from evil forces. Saint Augustin tells us: «He who has peace in the conscience, is peaceful, and this very peace is his heart's Sabbath». With Jesus Christ, the Sabbath already opens up to the gift of Sunday.