Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8
It happened that, Jesus was walking through the wheat fields on a Sabbath. His disciples were hungry; and they began to pick some heads of wheat, to crush and to eat the grain. When the Pharisees noticed this, they said to Jesus, “Look at your disciples! They are doing what is prohibited on the Sabbath!”
Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did, when he and his men were hungry? He went into the House of God, and they ate the bread offered to God, though neither he nor his men had the right to eat it, but only the priests. And have you not read in the law, how, on the Sabbath, the priests in the temple desecrate the Sabbath, yet they are not guilty?
I tell you, there is greater than the temple here. If you really knew the meaning of the words: It is mercy I want, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent.
Besides, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
“It is mercy I want, not sacrifice.”
Just as Jesus is the historical face of God on Earth, so is he the embodiment of God’s mercy in visible action among humans. Mercy and compassion are cen- tral to Jesus’ saving ministry. All his activities are motivated by his merciful love. Mercy is direc- ted toward the good and well being of all creation, humans and nonhumans alike. The ab- sence of mercy leads to different forms of abuse and exploitation of our fellow humans and the natural world. Without it, people will find life burdensome and the world of human affairs re- plete with injustices.
We are familiar with the se- ven works of mercy, and we are able to perform them—at times with no difficulty. However, there is another work of mercy that was not explicitly articula- ted as a work of mercy; and, that we might not be aware of (or if we are, we might not have rea- lized that it is a work of mercy), namely the “care of creation.” In 2016 during the celebration of the“Jubilee of Mercy,” Pope Fran- cis added the care of creation as a modern work of mercy, as the eighth work of mercy.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019