*** 1st Reading ***

Hebrews 6:10-20

God is not unjust and will not forget everything

You have done for love of his name; you have helped and still help the believers. We desire each of you to have, until the end, the same zeal for reaching what you have hoped for. Do not grow careless but imitate those who, by their faith and determination, inherit the promise.

 Remember God’s promise to Abraham. God wanted to confirm it with an oath and, as no one is higher than God, he swore by himself: I shall bless you and give you many descendants. By just patiently waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.

People are used to swearing by someone higher than themselves and their oath affirms everything that could be denied. So God committed himself with an oath in order to convince those who were to wait for his promise that he would never change his mind.

Thus we have two certainties in which it is impossible that God be proved false: promise and oath. That is enough to encourage us strongly when we leave everything to hold to the hope set before us.

 This hope is like a steadfast anchor of the soul, secure and firm, thrust beyond the curtain of the Temple into the sanctuary itself, where Jesus has entered ahead of us—Jesus, High Priest for ever in the order of Melchi­zedek.


Ps 111 1-2, 4-5, 9 & 10c

The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.


**** Gospel ****

Mark 2:23-28

 One Sabbath he was walking through grainfields. As his disciples walked along with him, they began to pick the heads of grain and crush them in their hands. Then the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look! they are doing what is forbidden on the Sabbath!”

 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did in his time of need, when he and his men were very hungry? He went into the house of God when Abiathar was High Priest and ate the bread of offering, which only the priests are allowed to eat, and he also gave some to the men who were with him.

 Then Jesus said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sab­bath. So the Son of Man is master even of the Sabbath.”


Gospel Reflection

In time, customs and traditions that are meant to facilitate our deeper love to the faith became rigid and unyielding. They become the be all and end all of spirituality rather than the means.

The Pharisees are scandalized that the disciples of Jesus disregard the prohibition of not working during the Sabbath day. It is a prohibition borne out of the interpretation of the Law by religious authorities.

What they missed is the fact that the original intention is for man and woman to have space to contemplate the wonderful love of God. So instead of making Sabbath a joyful encounter with a loving God, it became an exercise of self-restraint with corresponding sense of guilt if one cannot fulfill the prohibition.

Thus Jesus has to remind them of the original purpose of the Sabbath. It is to make believers fully human, fully alive.