Daily Reflection for Friday, July 17, 2020
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:
First Reading: Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8
Responsorial: Isaiah 38: 10-12, 16
Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men.” Matthew 12:7
I walked into the basement, arms full of laundry, and noticed a mess in the corner of the craft area. After tossing the clothes into the washer, I investigated and found a new piece of fabric with holes cut randomly from the center, my good scissors next to an uncapped bottle of glue, and glitter. So much glitter. Everywhere. I was furious.
I stormed upstairs and started shrieking at my husband. “How many times have I told them not to mess with my stuff?! Do you know which one it was? You better pray you find them before I do.”
Fortunately, before I found the guilty culprit and unleashed my blind fury, a sparkly Mother’s Day card appeared on the kitchen table. The rules had been broken, but my rage was unwarranted.
The Pharisees valued law, order, and ritual above all else. They repeatedly tried to trap Jesus into admitting he was breaking the law. Over and over again, he reminded them that he was accountable to the laws of God, not the laws of man. In this case, his disciples were not guilty of breaking the laws of the Sabbath by eating heads of grain. Jesus desires mercy, not sacrifice.
We need rituals, traditions, and laws so that our religion has meaning, richness, and value and so that our homes and society don’t fall apart in chaos. But we must remember to be merciful. Before we rush to judge those who break the law, we must keep our hearts and minds open to discovering why they broke the law in the first place. There is likely a hunger, need, or concern that—with the help of God’s mercy—we could seek to change.
What situation in your personal life or in the world is drawing your attention to the need for mercy? Pray for openness of heart and mind and the ability to avoid condemning the innocent.
May God’s Peace Be With You,