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Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time (July 20, 2018)

A reading from the holy Gospel of Matthew 12 : 1-8

At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." He said to them, " Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: so he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ' I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the Sabbath." The Gospel of the Lord

REFLECTION: ' I desire mercy, and not sacrifice'

The Pharisees always seemed to be with Jesus. And as much as they disagreed with him, they seemed so interested in his preaching and what he did and did not do. So, when they saw the disciples eating the heads of grain on the Sabbath, they , of course, found fault.

But Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6--I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.

The Sabbath is the Lords day when we celebrate creation, redemption, his love and goodness. However, human need overrides ritual custom--which at that time was meant to "do nothing" on the Sabbath. So the work of removing the heads of grain was deemed to be sacrilegious--it was work and therefore forbidden.

Let's go out and show God's love--everyday, including the Sabbath, or Sunday, go feed the poor, visit your parents or visit the lonely in the nursing home, take the Eucharist to a homebound Catholic, buy groceries for your neighbor, visit the sick, care for the invalid. Showing mercy is more powerful than abiding by a man made religious law.

PRAYER: Lord, show me your ways. Show me how to follow them. Amen.

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