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Son of David, Son of Man
Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a Sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you not read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry? How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Opening Prayer: Son of David, Son of Man, today I want to be with you; not only in this time of prayer, but in every action that I undertake. I am hungry for your word, and have faith that you will fulfill my deepest desires if I follow in your footsteps.
- Field of Dreams: Wouldn’t it have been amazing to be one of Jesus’ disciples during the time of his public ministry? On this occasion, they wandered across somebody’s field, picked the ripe heads off of stalks of grain, and mindlessly fed on the dust ground up between their fingers. We can imagine such a simple, carefree day in the field with Jesus, being blessed to hear his teachings about King David. But why pine for a past to which we can’t return? Jesus clearly told us that he would be with us always (Matthew 28:20). In every Catholic church, the tabernacle light is on. Jesus is truly present, inviting us to draw near. We know from Jesus’ actions in the upper room after his Resurrection that even locked doors are no barrier to him. Nothing keeps us from an intimacy that the disciples themselves could have only dreamed of on that day. May we accept the Lord’s gracious invitation and open ourselves to this intimacy.
- Fresh Food: These hungry wanderers must have found the fresh heads of grain irresistible. Do we experience a freshness each time we come to the Lord’s table? Jesus himself is present in the Eucharist, and he is immutable—never changing. When we approach, bringing our ever-changing selves, something powerful happens. “In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value” (CCC 1368). Our Lord’s invitation to participate in this “cup of blessing” should fill us each time with wonder and awe, as we anticipate the ways he will renew and transform us so that we can bring about his Kingdom. As related in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I make all things new.”
- Lord of the Sabbath: In the days of those first disciples, and in each day since, fallen man has struggled to find his place in the world that God the Father created and Christ redeemed. We tend to misunderstand true freedom, and pursue actions at odds with God’s plan, due to a disordered desire for some fleeting power or pleasure. In the beginning, though, there was just love—and the pleasure our first parents derived simply from being in communion with each other and with God. When God made man, he proclaimed us to be “very good.” He had crowned his creation, and would next pronounce a day of rest for himself. Later, God clarified that humanity was invited into this day of rest: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8-10). Let us recall the words of St. Gregory the Great, whom the church memorializes today, as we draw closer to the Lord’s day tomorrow: “We therefore accept spiritually, and hold spiritually, this which is written about the Sabbath. For the Sabbath means rest. But we have the true Sabbath in our redeemer himself, the Lord Jesus Christ.” May we have the grace to rest in the Lord.
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, I thank you today for always being available to me in the tabernacle and through the Eucharist. Please increase my desire for this bread of life. Thank you also for reminding me that your will is that I do my work for your glory, and that I rest in you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make a conscious effort to make the Sabbath day special tomorrow, freeing myself and my family from activities that don’t bring us closer to you.
For Further Reflection: Read the sections of the Catechism (1362-1372) that describe the Eucharist as the sacrificial memorial of Christ and of his Body, the Church.
Andrew Rawicki and his wife, JoAnna, live in Irving, Texas, near eight of their ten grandchildren. A convert from Judaism, Andrew entered the Church in 1991, and has been a member of the Regnum Christi spiritual family since 2001. He has served as the Regnum Christi Local Director for Dallas since July 2020.