not man for the sabbath.
- Mark 2:27
So what does that quote really mean? One way it could be read is that we should not be beholden to the Sabbath because it was made for us and, therefore, we can celebrate it in any manner we choose. This interpretation would be completely false. The point Jesus is trying to make with this statement is that the Sabbath was given to us by God to remind us of the importance of setting aside time to honor God and rest from our labors. As a result, we are to “Keep holy the Sabbath” by attending Mass and taking time out of our busy lives to reflect on the blessings God has given us. So, while the Sabbath was made for man, that does not mean that man can do whatever he wants with it. Instead, it is a gift from God to be used in His service and to honor Him.
The other important point that this quote makes is that we should not allow ourselves to get bogged down in the minutiae of keeping track of every single law and restriction placed upon us. Rather, we must keep in mind that the overall goal is to live a holy life in service to God and others. Sometimes this means we may break a minor rule or regulation in order to bring about the greater good. However, while such actions may sometimes be necessary, we must always bear in mind that we should strive to observe these laws first and foremost and only break them when there is no other way to achieve our stated goal. In the end, it is best to ask “What would Jesus do?” as a way to ensure that our actions are in line with preaching the Good News.