Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sabbatum propter hominem factum | Sabbath was made for man

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” —Mark 2:27 (NLT)

Is the Sabbath a burden or a joy to us? What is the focus of our Sabbath: Christ or ritual services? 

If Sunday is our “busy” day, there is another day of rest, when we can truly rest and enjoy God in a special way. Sabbath is intended to show the heart of God who really followed His creation, including the disciples who were in need of food. However, the actions of the Pharisees narrowed the meaning of the Sabbath to mere ritual with many rules. 

Obeying the rules is a noble act. We will become a disciplined person in managing time and daily routines. However, being too obedient to the rules is also not good one, because we can lose sight of the most important thingthe core value of the whole rule, namely love and humanity. We let other people starve while we are busy just kneeling and praying in church. 

On the other hand, many of us who live today are hypocrites, and like to find fault with others. When our brothers and sisters make mistakes, we are good at saying bad things to others. We don't want to see other people happy, because of the jealousy and envy in us. It is our duty to stay away from this attitude. There's no point in acting like that.  

In my own experience, living in seminary shows how I respond to rules. Each time is set with routine activities. When I first entered the seminary, I had a hard time keeping up with the demands of seminary life because as a green person who had just come from my childhood environment, I was less orderly in managing my time.

But as time went by, I got used to the rules. I realized that sometimes because of regulatory pressure, I would be hypocritical to my formators and friends to keep the impression that I was orderly. At the same time, I sometimes look down on other friends. For instance, when I wake up in the morning to go to the chapel I choose to wake up a sleeping friend or (for fear of being late) I choose to be cool and indifferent to them.  

Now, I realize that obeying the rules improves my self-awareness to be a disciplined person, without having to look down on others. I follow the rule not just to look good to the formators or for fear of being banned or excluded from the seminary. I realize that the rules help make me a good person and most importantly, experience acts of love and human values ​​above all of them

Reflection on Mark 2:23-28 by Fr. Sandre Loreng, SVD 
(Listen to the Podcast here)

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