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Browsing Reflections Archive

July 15, 2022

Daily Reflection for Friday, July 15, 2022

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8
Isaiah 38:10-12, 16
Matthew 12:1-8

Our reflection on Friday’s reading:
“If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men.  Matthew 12:7

When I read the gospel story today, it is easy for me to be critical of the pharisees for calling out the disciples for violating the sabbath.  But as I immerse myself in the story, it calls me to recognize my own judgmental nature of others that don’t fit neatly into ‘my’ preconceived notions and rules for the way the world should work.  I fear that my actions are more pharisaic and rules-based than I would like to admit.

Jesus makes it clear to me that my job here on earth is to show mercy, not to judge others.  Even though I know this is true, it seems that I want to argue or condemn the actions of others when showing mercy would be a much better approach.  As enlightened as we think that we may be, the rules that we craft for ourselves to control our societies are still flawed and self-serving.  It seems that Jesus wants us to consider the spirit of the law and not just the letter of the law.

This past Sunday we heard the story of the good Samaritan.(Luke 10:25-37)  Jesus provided a scholar of the law a very vivid example of who was more of a neighbor to the man who fell victim to robbers.  The priest and the Levite were following the law to the letter to remain ritually pure, but the Samaritan acted with mercy toward the victim.  When Jesus gave the scholar the scenario, the scholar knew that the Samaritan was more neighborly toward the victim.  Now imagine Jesus telling you the same story today, but the hero of the story was someone you despised to the core.  Jesus provides yet another example of choosing mercy over the law and tells us to “go and do likewise,” even with those we may scorn.

Jesus, when I’m feeling righteous, help me to be more merciful.  Your spirit in our midst is far greater than all of the rules that man can devise, if we just devote ourselves to you and your precepts.

Paul Gunn


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