In today’s confrontation between an old order and a new one we see Our Lord connecting his ministry and mission to that of David and, therefore, to the Messiah. When the Pharisees take Our Lord to task for his disciples’ behavior he reminds them that David, when there was a need, did something very similar with the bread of the Temple that was reserved to the priests. “Son of Man” is a title for the Messiah, and here he is showing a continuity with David that in part fulfills the prophecy of the Messiah, who’d be David’s descendant.
The Pharisees in their time had popular support and a predominant interpretation of how the Law was to be applied in everyday life. Jesus is reminding them today that there is a Legislator-in-Chief who is the ultimate authority. He is taking the legal framework back to its foundations, while also starting a tradition his Church would live throughout the centuries. Sometimes even he legislates rest: the Day of the Lord, every Sunday, is a day on which we’re expected to rest in order to have time for our spiritual and family obligations and refresh ourselves. And, like in today’s Gospel, some people need to serve in other ways on that day.
Whether we rest or work, let’s do it as Our Lord would wish it.
Readings: Colossians 1:21–23; Psalm 54:3–4, 6, 8; Luke 6:1–5. See also 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday.