Posted by: frburke23 | July 19, 2012

Thought for Friday, 15th Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
“See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.”
He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
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.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”


The Pharisees were always on the lookout to catch Jesus in some sort of blasphemy or heresy.  Why were they so focused on Jesus?  He was a threat to their position in society.  Many people were following Jesus and He didn’t always follow their prescribed laws (breaking the Sabbath, in this case).

Aren’t we like the Pharisees at times?  We are quick to judge others when they are getting all of the attention.  We focus on their faults and failings rather than see their virtues.  We spread gossip about others to hurt their reputation and make us feel better about ourselves.  Why do we do this?  Jealousy.  Fear.  Lack of self-confidence.

Today the Lord invites us to take the focus off of others’ faults.  “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” Jesus says.  Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery?  The men all wanted to stone her for her sin.  Yet Jesus tells them, “He who is sinless cast the first stone.”  We are all sinners.  The Lord asks all of us to remove the plank out of our own eyes before we see the sliver in the other person’s eyes.

Am I a person of mercy?

Am I quick to judge?

Or do I seek to know and understand a person before I make any judgments?

Do I follow all the rules like the Pharisees but lack charity when dealing with my neighbor?

Lord, teach me humility.  Help me to be confident in your love for me so that I don’t need to bring others down by my words.  Help me to see myself as your beloved son/daughter.  Help me to see others as your beloved sons/daughters as well.  Help me to walk in another’s shoes and to show mercy as you have shown me mercy beyond understanding.

Have a blessed day,

Fr. Burke

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