20 Jul Mercy, Not Sacrifice (Matt. 12:7) by Steve Castle
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” ~ Matt. 12:7 (full readings)
Steve’s Reflections: Many of the Saints (St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, etc.) speak of God’s greatest attribute being His Mercy. St. Faustina, by way of the Divine Mercy Devotion, reiterated God’s great love for sinners and the mercy that spills forth from Jesus’ Sacred Heart. God desperately desires us in spite of our sin. In today’s reading Jesus points the hard hearts of the Pharisees back to God’s mercy when they accuse him of working on the Sabbath. This is not the first time Jesus spoke these words to the Pharisees, either. After calling the tax collector Matthew (Matt. 9:13), the Pharisees call Jesus out for dining with “sinners”. Jesus exhorts them and points them toward God’s love and mercy for sinners, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.” We are all sinners and we all need God. A great example of this dependence is in our first reading when Hezekiah lay dying in his bed. He “wept bitterly” after he realizes his life is slipping away even though he was a good man who honored God…God heard his repentance and extended his life for fifteen more years. There is tremendous blessings realizing your dependence on God.
* Steve Castle serves the LIFE Group on the corporate board, is a regular author for LIFE Group Devotions on Friday’s, and is the editor/voice of the LIFE Minute. Him and his wife Tina live in Fergus Falls, MN where they attend to their number one ministry; their four children. Full bio.
Faith Challenge: Like Hezekiah, take a moment and reflect on your mortality today. Rest in God’s promise of Mercy for all sinners and those who call on the name of Jesus.
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: Miracle on the Hudson – the untold story (July 10, 2009)
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Spiritual Adoption, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). Add Prayers on our website. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, LIFE Runners, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: St. Apollinaris, Martyr (d. 1st Century)
Faith Quote: “…the Bible, Tradition, and the whole faith life of the People of God provide unique proof…that mercy is the greatest of attributes and perfections of God.” ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II the Great, Dives Misericordia
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will and His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (and family): Abortion (images) is #1 death cause (22% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 and Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa.
* Evangelize: Make room for unbelievers and re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.