Voices ever ancient, ever new. Saturday-Week22-2013

“While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.” (Luke 6:1-2)

Saint Ambrose of Milan offers the following insight on this verse from today's Gospel:

“The Lord Jesus begins to divest man [people] of the observation of the old law and clothes him with the new covering of grace not only through the understanding of words but also through the very usage and appearance of actions. Already on the sabbath, he leads him through the cornfields, that is, he brings him to what abounds in fruit. What the sabbath, the standing corn, and the ears mean to him is no small mystery. The field is this whole world, and the standing corn of the field is an abundant fruitfulness of saints in the sowing of the human race. The ears of the field are the fruits of the church that the apostles scattered with their works and on which they fed, sustaining themselves on our progress. The corn was already standing rich in abundant ears of virtues. The fruits of our merit are compared with these, because they also wither in a shower or are parched by the sun or soaked by the rain or shattered by storms or hoarded by the reapers in the storehouses of the blessed granaries. The earth has already received the Word of God, and the nourishing field sown with heavenly seed has brought forth abundant fruit. The disciples hungered for the salvation of humankind, and by the splendid miracles of their works they plucked as if from the husks of their bodies fruits of their minds to the light of faith. The Jews thought that this was not permitted on the sabbath, but Christ through the gift of new grace designated the idleness of the law as a work of grace.” (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 5)

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