Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men.” Matthew 12:7
In today’s Gospel, Jesus responds to the irrationality of the Pharisees by reminding them of the Scripture, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” And He points out that the Apostles were wrongly condemned because the Pharisees do not understand this passage and this command from God to love Him more. Pharisees failed to prioritise values. The Pharisees turned the Sabbath rest into a burden. They made it out to be a strict legalistic observance that did nothing to glorify God or refresh the human spirit. They gave importance to human precepts rather than Divine will and intention. According to Jesus, the commandment of love is supreme over man-made precepts. Customs and practices are good but come secondary to the love of God and neighbour. God calls us to interpret His law through the eyes of love – Love of God and Love of neighbour. In this context, it is good to note what Dawson Trotman once said to LeRoy Eims, “don’t be so busy in the Kingdom that you don’t have time for the King.” The Pharisees and scribes spent quality time creating and interpreting the law of God that they discarded the love of God.
Reflect, today, upon how you look at God’s commands of love and His law. It is an invitation to be busier with the King than with the kingdom; to be busier with the love of God and the law of God. It is an invitation to prioritise God than the law of God. Jesus desires from us a true and genuine love towards him than the strict and coherent adherence to the Law of God.