It must have been frustrating, I think, for Jesus to see how the people who should be getting religion right to so often get it wrong. The Pharisees – those men who were so intent on the careful observance of every obligation of the law – were always questioning things the wrong way. Instead of asking how they could be hospitable to the followers of Jesus, they questioned why they were allowed to pick grain and eat it on the Sabbath.
Jesus’ point is that the Sabbath is not the goal in and of itself. What is important is that God should be glorified in everything that we do, not that we spend time criticizing what others are doing. Perhaps had the Pharisees provided something for the worshippers to eat, those who were hungry would not have had to risk violating the law.
You will hear me speak a lot about vocations this week, since it’s Vocations Awareness week. Today’s readings speak to all of us about our true vocation as worshippers. We were made – all of us – to give glory and honor to God. In order to fulfill that vocation, our worship then must be authentic and joyful and a serious priority. We must get all the details right – not the miniscule details crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” – but the details of taking care of one another, and making our worship mean something in our lives.
We were made to worship God in Spirit and truth. We can do that by making every moment, every action of our lives, an occasion of worship. The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. May his lordship in our lives lead us to fulfill our vocation as a worshipping people.