Today’s Gospel: Mark 2:23-28 – Memorial of St. Agnes
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.”
At one time in my life, those words brought me comfort. I was working for a parish and every Sunday I had to leave my family and forfeit much of our day of rest together for the sake of ministry. Whenever I was examining my conscience and came to the 3rd Commandment, I was reminded of this passage. God saw my family; He knew our situation and our hearts. So I could be at peace about how we needed to spend our Sundays in service to the ministry He’d given us.
Now our life looks a little different, and so I need to turn my heart in humility to the first part of that passage. Jesus’ words offer me a challenge. He tells us that the sabbath was made FOR us. It’s a hand-made gift from our Creator. Today’s Gospel helps me to see the love in the 3rd Commandment. God wants to meet us in the Eucharist on Sundays; He wants us to hear Him in the Word. He longs for us to delight in the gift of community. He wants to renew us with rest.
It is good to be reminded that Jesus challenged the legalism of the Pharisees. But it is also good to remember that God’s laws are rooted in love for us. So I have to ask myself each week: how am I gratefully accepting this gift from God?
How do you keep the Lord’s Day holy?
Jesus, help me to receive the gift of Sundays and to make room in my life for prayer, community and rest.
Copyright 2020 Megan Swaim
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