"I desire mercy, not sacrifice"
July 21, 2017
Today's readings offer much to consider. The first reading speaks of the first Passover and the way the Israelites should celebrate and connection of God's mercy and sacrifice.
I imagine often the Hebrews living in Goshen, living the dramatic events that resulted in the Pharaoh expelling them from Egypt. I consider the faith demonstrated in painting one's doorpost with the blood of the Passover lamb. That faith left no room for a lukewarm spirit. If the Exodus didn't happen, the fresh blood of Hebrew slaves would soon have joined the blood from the lamb. I can learn much from that kind of faith. The connection of the Passover and the Last Supper has always been important in teaching children about the Pascal Sacrifice but today the words from the Gospel of Matthew has me looking at that sacrifice differently.
Matthew 12:1-8 shares the story of Jesus' disciples plucking the heads of grain on the Sabbath and drawing criticism from the Pharisees.
Jesus rebukes the charge saying,
" I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men."
This morning, a good priest, in his homily pointed to the cross and said, "If all you see is sacrifice, you are missing God's Mercy."
The image of Christ on the cross is the lengths of God's love being poured out on us. The image of Christ on the cross is the image of Divine Mercy offered for our sins and the sin of all mankind.
The image of Christ on the cross is the image of God's Mercy.
"I desire mercy, not sacrifice." In the first Passover, there was a sacrifice but also deliverance. The mercy of God was felt as mercy was offered, "seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you." Exodus 12: 23
That is Divine Mercy in action.
What is required? My Faith.