One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”
And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 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 he gave some to his companions.”
Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Here he goes again. Jesus breaking the rules and raising a ruckus. Let us remember, though, that Jesus is not a “rebel without a cause”: Jesus has a cause. It is the Gospel of new life and love.
Jesus lived in a world where certain religious practices had gotten stuck—that is, they had become rituals that no longer encouraged greater devotion and faith. Jesus’ provocative words and actions challenged his followers to look deeper, to find God afresh in the time-honored traditions.
I laugh when I think about the rules I create for myself that get “stuck”— especially in my ministry. I fondly remember my first experience leading retreats in the Mexican community, coming in with my elaborate expectations and plans. I failed delightfully, learning instead from my creative and full-hearted retreatants. Thank God they broke my rules…we learned so much.
Where am I feeling stuck?
—Garrett Gundlach, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic from the Wisconsin Province. He is engaged in Master of Social Work studies at Loyola University Chicago.
I’ve said yes.
Sometimes a big yes,
but most of the time, little ones:
You call me and I try to say yes,
to follow you where you go,
to go where I feel you are calling me.
But this time, it’s a little harder.
Your invitation, your call,
it seems more like a push than a gentle pull,
a challenge requiring
a little bit of pain for gain-
Today, you’re asking me to change.
Stay close, Christ, and I can say yes.
But be patient with me.
—Garrett Gundlach, S.J.