Holyrood Church 715 West 179 Street, Upper West side Manhattan, USA, 212-923-3770

I desire mercy not sacrifice.

Reading: I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. Matthew 12:6-7.
Good morning, happy Friday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 12:1-8), Jesus and his disciples were walking through a field of grain.  It was the Sabbath.  The disciples were hungry and, without thinking, they began to pick some of the grain and then eat it.  There were several Pharisees who saw the disciples do this.  They immediately approached Jesus and told him that his disciples’ action was unlawful since it was the Sabbath.  No work was to be done on the Sabbath.   Not only were the disciples picking the grain, they also were eating grain they did not have the right to eat!
It may be helpful to know that in the time of Jesus, the farmers were encouraged to leave some wheat on the edges of fields for the poor to eat.   Thus, Jesus and the disciples were not stealing grain from the farmers, rather, they were doing what was customary.  Yet the Pharisees seized this opportunity to criticize Jesus. 
Jesus responded to the Pharisees’ question by using the example of David from the Old Testament.  When David and his companions were hungry, they went into the House of God and ate the bread offering that only the priests were allowed to eat.  Jesus then asked the Pharisees:  “Do you consider David’s act unlawful?”  He also reminded them that at varying times throughout history, the priests of the temple had violated the Sabbath.  Did the Pharisees consider these priests guilty or innocent of a crime?  Jesus then states: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”  
Mercy is a great gift.  It is a gift when we receive mercy from Jesus!  However, it also is a great gift when we are gifted with mercy from another person.  Do you remember a time in your life when someone was merciful or compassionate with you?  They may have been kind and understanding even if you did not deserve it.
I desire mercy not sacrifice. I listen to the challenge in these words, as Jesus asks me to seek to be merciful rather than to appear and feel worthy before God because I have fulfilled all my duties. God wants many things from me, but the thing he wants most is for me to imitate him in his mercy towards the undeserving. I look at my attitudes and ask to be made more like God in his goodness.
Jesus always encourages us to do what is loving, kind, and sensible.  Law is important and essential; however, if we are not careful, we may make the law our god.  And this is not the God that Jesus wants us to worship.  For Jesus, the law of love always reigns supreme.  Today, may the law of love reign in our lives!

Date news: 
Friday, July 15, 2022 - 15:45

Ministry at the time of Coronavirus (Covid 19): Prevent, cure and accompany

Now we have to shape what some have started calling; The Church at Home. Although I keep asking myself; What do those who do not have a home do? For this reason, at the same time, I am declaring today in our Holyrood Church a Lenten day of prayer, fasting and reading the Bible in the Time of the Coronavirus.

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