Saint Agnes, Virgin Martyr
I Samuel 16:1-13 + Mark 2:23-28
January 21, 2020
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.”
Today’s Gospel passage focuses on “‘the Son of Man [who] is lord even of the Sabbath.’ ” To say that this Son of Man is lord “even” of the Sabbath is to point out that the meaning of this lordship stretches back to God’s creation of the universe. The origin of the Sabbath is not the Third Commandment, but the events described in the first chapters of Genesis. Jesus as the Son of Man is a lord who is divine and human.
But today’s First Reading and Responsorial speak of the human lord, King David. David, like all the rightful kings of God’s People, ruled through the anointing that came from the Lord God. Both the First Reading and the Responsorial speak of this anointing. The First Reading links this anointing to the Power of the Holy Spirit: the scriptural author notes that “from that day [of David’s anointing] on, the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.”
In the ministry of the Old Testament kings, it was through the Holy Spirit that they acted as lords. In the Nicene Creed we profess belief in the Holy Spirit, “who has spoken through the prophets.” We might well also profess that this Holy Spirit has acted through the kings. So also does He act in our own day: ruling the Church through her ordained ministers, and ruling throughout the world in the daily lives of the lay faithful through their fidelity to their baptismal promises.