St Paul admonishes the Church in Corinth about going beyond what was written. It seems like there were people who put more emphasis on human wisdom rather than on Scripture and what the Apostles taught. The community was wealthy and boast of it and also of their human wisdom. Paul warns them while they may have ten thousand instructors in Christ, they have only him as their father because he was the one who brought them into Christ. Paul asserts his authority over whatever human wisdom they believe. Paul also speaks of the sacrifices he endured for their sake, just to prove to them that his love for them is real and he does not have any hidden intentions for them. As a father, Paul claims his authority as an Apostles and their father in Christ. As Catholics, we do not just accept what someone says. We discern what we hear and decide whether what is taught is from the Apostles or human wisdom by learning about our faith, especially what the Church Fathers taught. There are many who twist the Word of God using human wisdom.
We see this in the Gospel today when the Pharisees ask Jesus why his disciples were harvesting during a Sabbath day, when no work is permitted. In response, Jesus corrects their wrong interpretation of the Law. He tells them, the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath. There can be two interpretations of this. Jesus uses the phrase Son of Man to refer to himself. In the Hebrew Scripture, Son of man also refers to a human being. Jesus could have meant, he is greater than the Sabbath, meaning they are to obey him rather than the Law because he is the fulfillment of the Law. Or the command to rest on the Sabbath was meant to serve man.
God created us so we can be free. He gives the Sabbath as a day of rest. It is a day to remember God’s goodness, of God’s providence, of worshiping God. Our society has become so hectic, working on Sunday is seen as normal. But God gave us the Sabbath to set us free. By resting on the Sabbath, we preach to others and tell God that we believe he will provide for our needs. The Psalm today tells us: he fulfills the desire of all who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 127:1-2 tells us: Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watches in vain that keeps it. It is vain for you to rise before light, rise after you have eaten, you that eat the bread of sorrow. When he shall give sleep to his beloved. We work in vain unless God builds what we do. If I do not honor God by keeping holy the day of rest, I am depending on myself. When I do that, I am saying I know more than God so I reject what he has planned for me. I can work all day long seven days a week and it will be in vain because I will not enjoy the fruit of my labor.
If I really need to work 7 days a week to make ends meet, I can do that, but I must not neglect to make that day holy. I must make time to worship God by attending mass. Our schedule must revolve around Jesus, around the mass. To the person who works 7 days a week, who works without a day off, thinking they need to, here is my suggestion. This is not the teaching of the Church, but try this. If you can find another job that allows you to have a day of rest, go for it. But if not, do not leave your work.
Tell God to take charge of your work. God is greater and has more authority over you than your boss or manager. Tell God to enter your work and that you accept him as your Lord at work. When you accept him as the Lord of your work, tell God to give you one day to honor him. Then wait and see what God will do. He will make your manager agree to give you a day off. And if you are afraid that you will lose income by not working a day, remember, God is the one who will provide. He can give you more than what you will earn for that day. God created you to be free. He wants you to have that day of rest. Trust him.
Lord, you said, come to me all you who are tired and overburdened, and I will give you rest. I come to you Lord, tired of my work. Give me rest Lord and I trust you will provide for my needs if I have this desire to offer you one day of the week to honor you. Come and enter my work and be the Lord of my work. Let me see your power and your glory.