Before reading today’s Gospel, Fr Peter reminds us to be aware of the need for prayer, the need to reflect, the need to allow the truth to work through the Word that has been given to us. He then reads from Luke’s Gospel (14: 1-6) in which Jesus challenges the Pharisees by healing on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a holy day that Jews adhere to in their religion – it is a way of them being able to honour God in a way that truly reflects their faith. Here, Fr Peter notes, we have critics of our Lord Jesus Christ who question him about doing such things on the Sabbath.
What Jesus tries to help them realise is that there are times when things need to be done, not to ignore the Sabbath itself or the nature of it. He shows them that to give oneself is to give oneself totally to God and not to just strictly adhere to the rules and regulations or to fixate on them. Fr Peter says, it is important to think of how we keep the Lord’s day holy because Sunday cannot just be treated like any other day. First and foremost, it is giving praise and worship to God, who we adore and worship in our life. Once we think of other things to do or we prioritise things that do not show that due respect then what we are doing is giving the impression that our faith is something we don’t take seriously.
When we allow other things to take priority which we know are only temporary, it is not something that truly is enduring. We need to realise that, if our faith is something we truly love and truly want to express we do so as an act of gratitude to God; to the God we love; to the God who has done so much for us. When we put it in the context of the passion, death and resurrection and recall that beautiful story of love as the Son of God who gave himself up on the cross and died for each and everyone of us, who came to redeem the world in order that we might be saved. All that God asks of us is to be able to express that act of gratitude, to give thanks to him for the life that he led.
As we think of the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, as Catholics and Christians we come together, united in faith, may we listen to the word of God effectively and when we received the Eucharist do so in a way that when we say Amen, we truly mean it and believe it. Fr Peter says, that is one way of letting God know we honour him on the most beautiful day of the week as he has opened up the gates of heaven for us and we truly give thanks to him for us being able to enjoy the life we have in the here and now. In closing, Fr Peter says, let us once again be gracious and give thanks to God for the resurrection.