The Sabbath is a very important day for Israel; it is the day of the Old Covenant, the day of rest (cf. Ex 34:21), the day of the Lord. Every Jew, therefore, must live this day toward his family and toward God. Such importance allowed, little by little, an enslavement of the Jews to the Sabbath, a form of blind and inhuman dependence. The seventh day of the week has become a very heavy burden because of so many superficial laws built into it. Mt narrates this fact, placing Jesus above the Temple in importance and evidencing mercy beyond sacrifice. Mc, in turn, adds the superiority of man over the “Sabbath”. Luke's text is the shortest of the three.
2. Jesus relativizes the Sabbath. The Pharisaic reaction to the disciples' attitude in picking up the ears of wheat reveals a very great fragility in the understanding of the Day of the Lord. When making a comparison with what David did, when he came from a persecution provoked by Saul, when he ate the holy bread, due only to the priests (Lev 24,5-9). The teaching is evident that in the face of extreme need, the law is suspended, in this case, the prescriptions of the Sabbath. Life is more important than any law, because the law exists in favor of life, which is a gift from God. In turn, the disciples, proceeding as they did, give the impression that they were at ease with Jesus, they had a form of security capable of allowing them to dare on the Sabbath day; they were beginning to see a tremendous change in the way of understanding the Law of God, putting them in the condition of free men.
3. The Sabbath must be the day when man lives his condition of image and likeness with God, through the exercise of his autonomy turned towards the Lord; it is also the day to commemorate the liberation of God's people (Ex 20:11; Dt 5:15). This original meaning is being established by Jesus, who reveals himself as the Lord of the Sabbath. The key to understanding the Law of God is Jesus Christ, the only Word of the Father, the whole teaching of the Father to humanity. He is the transforming Word, the saving Message, the liberating Newness, perceived more clearly after his death and resurrection.
4. Resurrection Sunday, the day of the New and Eternal Covenant, is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Sabbath; it is the day of the glorification of Jesus, of the new creation, of the New Covenant, of victory over death, sin and Satan; it is the day of the Church's faith, the new people of God. The Old Testament Sabbath fulfilled its mission as a preparatory promise for Sunday, the Lord's Day. Sunday is the day for the true appreciation of human dignity, its autonomy and liberation, the day of the Christian family and its communion with God, the day of charity and solidarity par excellence, the whole day for God and for the good of humanity. I hope that the rest due to the Lord's day is truly lived with intense joy, enchantment and availability on the Sunday of the Risen One, the Son of Man, the Lord of the Sabbath, the Risen Victor, our Law par excellence.
Jesus addresses the crowds and challenges them to follow him. The Master doesn't seem to get too excited about large crowds. He knows that many of those there do not have much interest in being faithful collaborators in the Kingdom project. Many are encouraged when they see large crowds participating in some celebrations, presided over by some “famous or media” ministers. When presenting the requirements for following him, Jesus does not worry whether many or few will be willing to walk the path with him. The text presents some of the Master's demands to follow him faithfully: affective detachment: the family is important, but it cannot prevent someone from being committed to Jesus' proposals; readiness for the cross: it is not enough to consider oneself a Christian, it is necessary to take up the “own” cross of fidelity and commitment to a dignified life for all; renunciation of everything: it is necessary to get rid of everything that prevents the realization of God's plan. Both parables show the need to calculate before making any decision. It's no use getting excited at first and then realizing that you're not in a position to live up to the Master's proposals. He doesn't want to deceive anyone; he just shows what it takes to be his faithful disciple and disciple.