Grazing on wheat


Today’s saint is saint Camillus of Lellis, a sixteenth century man who started his life as a man of this world, and a man with a special affinity for gambling. Upon his conversion he devoted his life to charity towards the sick. His particular devotion to caring for the infirm was precipitated by his own crippling leg disease. He started life as a sinner, and then moved towards sainthood. He was sanctified.

What does it mean to be sanctified? It means to be made sacred, to be devoted to God. A saint is a sanctified being, a church is a sanctified building, and the sacred vessels are sanctified for a single purpose. The bread that David and his troops ate was sanctified for the lord. The Sabbath is a day also sanctified to God. Jesus critics scolded him for harvesting on that Sabbath, his grazing on the wheat was in violation of Sabbath law.

Jesus questions in his rebuttal the purpose of that Sabbath. It is a day devoted to God, but it also is a day to bring Gods people closer to God, to bring them sanctity, to make saints. It is not simply a day of ritual obligations, but nourishment. It is a day to feed the flock, and that nourishment should sustain that flock throughout their weekly journey. As Jesus was grazing through that wheat field, He indeed was nourishing his flock. Can one not see those grains of wheat grazed in the Eucharist host? Unlike the show bread that the high priests offers to God, these grains of wheat are that bread of life that the high priest, Jesus the Christ, gives to us. The Sabbath is not simply our obligation to God, but a reminder of a Gods generosity to us. To remember Gods generosity is to give thanks. The Sabbath is a day of thanksgiving. Eucharist means thanksgiving.

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