Saint Bonaventure

“... how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat?” (Matthew 12:4.)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on this verses from today’s Gospel proclamation:

“To put down the chicanery of the Pharisees it is recorded in ancient history that David was fleeing from Saul and came to Nob. Having been received by Ahimelech the priest, he asked him for food. Since Ahimelech had no common bread at hand, he gave David some holy bread, which only priests and Levites could lawfully eat. The priest asked whether the young men had kept themselves from women, and he received the answer “since yesterday and the day before.” He did not hesitate to give the bread, having thought it better, remembering that the prophet says, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” In view of the danger of hunger, Ahimelech judged it better to help people than to offer sacrifice to God. The slain victim pleasing to God is the salvation of humankind. If David is holy and the priest Ahimelech is not offensive to you, but they have broken both commandments of the law with a probable excuse — in this case, hunger — why do you not find acceptable the same hunger in the apostles that you find acceptable in others? However, in this there is a great difference: the disciples plucked grain on the sabbath, whereas David ate the levitical bread. Note that neither David nor his young men accepted the loaves of the presence until they replied that they had kept themselves from women.” (Commentary on Matthew, 2.)

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday
of the Bishop Saint Bonaventure,
we may benefit from his great learning
and constantly imitate the ardor of his charity
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen