Continuing the confrontation and rebuke of the Pharisees, Christ now begins to implement His plan of reestablishing the Sabbath in the Eucharist. Jesus is directly accused by the Pharisees for breaking the law because His disciples plucked grain to eat on the Sabbath. The Pharisees, in their self-reliant attempts to achieve holiness to gain God’s favor, had extended Moses ritual laws that forbid harvesting grain on the Sabbath to include even plucking grain by the hungry.

Christ humiliates (“Have you not read”) the prideful Pharisees with a harsh rebuke that exposes their lack of understanding of Scripture by reminding them that David’s men ate showbread in the Temple. Showbread, called “Bread of the Presence” was bread that was ritually laid out as an offering to God, in the presence of God in the Temple.  Remarkably, Christ offers a sign of His Eucharist in this encounter with the reference to eating of the “showbread” in the Temple; in the New Covenant, simple bread will become Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

As He did previously when He referred to the Bridegroom (Luke 5:35), Christ again mysteriously disclosures His Divinity when He says “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” The Pharisees would have been both shocked and uncertain; Christ’s statement is a statement about both the promised Messiah and God, but Christ doesn’t directly claim to be either the Son of Man or the Lord of the Sabbath. Christ bides His time, preparing for His Passion according to His own plan.

Awed by Jesus ChristPerson of the Trinity, Christ is the author of God’s laws passed down in Scripture. Son of God, Christ asserts His Divinity in a mysterious and indirect way.  Divine Prophet, Christ teaches through powerful events which reveal the astonishing truth of the Eucharist and the ending of Jewish religious practices that stood for over a thousand years. Divine King and Teacher, Christ fearlessly speaks with authority, rebuking the powerful Pharisees and correcting their misinterpretation of Scripture.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1)  Men love to watch combative and skilled men debate. Imagine watching the powerful but flawed Pharisees attempting to take on the Son of God in a debate.

2) Like the arrogant Pharisees, many Catholic men develop their own interpretations of Catholicism, picking and choosing what they accept and don’t accept (e.g. I don’t need to go to Mass every week, I can confess my sins to God myself, etc.). Imagine trying to sell your own novel interpretations of Catholicism to Christ Himself. Repent of any false beliefs and pray for Christ to help you accept and practice the fullness of the Church’s teaching without reservation.

3) Sometimes it is easy to be distracted in Mass, taking the Eucharist for granted and missing its profound and miraculous meaning. Reflect on Christ’s deliberate efforts over many centuries (e.g. the blood of the lamb in the Passover, the showbread, etc.) and His Passion and pray that He help you never take the Eucharist for granted again.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead