Friday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Matthew 12:1-8.
by Daily Gospel | Source: Daily Gospel


Book of Exodus 11:10.12:1-14.

Thus, although Moses and Aaron performed these various wonders in Pharaoh's presence, the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate, and he would not let the Israelites leave his land.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
"This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year.  

Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.

If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.

You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole, with its head and shanks and inner organs.
None of it must be kept beyond the next morning; whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up.
"This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD.

For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first--born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt-I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you.

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.

Psalms 116(115):12-13.15-16bc.17-18.

How can I repay the LORD for all the good done for me?
I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
Too costly in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful.

LORD, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.

LORD, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.

I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 12:1-8.

At that time Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.

When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
 
He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat?

Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent?

I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned these innocent men.

For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."


Commentary of the day
Aphrahat (?-c.345), monk and Bishop near Mosul, saint of the Orthodox churches
Demonstrations, no. 13, 1.3.9

« A Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God » (He 4,9)


The Sabbath was not established as a test for discerning between life and death, righteousness and sin, as were the other precepts through which «man finds life» (Lv 18,5) or death if he does not keep them. No, in its time the Sabbath was given to the people for their rest. Men and beasts alike were to stop working (Ex 23,12)...

If the Sabbath had not been instituted for the rest of all those who exercise manual labor then those creatures that do not work would also, from the beginning, have had to keep the Sabbath if they were to be justified. But to the contrary, as we see, the sun proceeds without respite, the moon moves in its orbit, the stars follow their course, winds blow, clouds sail through the sky, birds fly, streams rise up out of springs, waves rise and fall, lightening strikes and lights up all creation and, in its time, the thunder breaks violently, trees bear their fruit and every creature grows and nourishes itself. Indeed, we don't see any living thing rest on the Sabbath day except men and beasts of burden, which are subject to the law of labor.

To not one of the righteous men of the Old Testament was the Sabbath given for him to find life in it... But fidelity to the Sabbath was ordained so that servants, mercenaries, foreigners, beasts of burden, all might take their rest so that those who are wearied by their labor might be restored again. For God cares for all his creation, for beasts of burden as for savage beasts, for birds as for wild animals. So listen now to what that Sabbath is that pleases God. Isaiah tells us: «This is the resting place: give rest to the weary» (Is 28,12)... Let us, then, faithfully keep God's Sabbath; let us carry out what pleases his heart. Thus we will enter into the Sabbath of that great rest when heaven and earth will take their repose, when every creature is remade.




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