By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 15, 2016
July 15, 2016

Gospel MT 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.”

Reflection:

“If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men.”

The Pharisees in today’s gospel attached more importance to obeying the law of not working on the sabbath than they did to human need.

Citing the old testament story of David and his men eating the bread from “the house of God,” Jesus makes it clear that in God’s eyes, human need must always take precedence over worship or obeying religious rules.

Certainly the Mass is our highest form of worship. We often hear the phrase, “the sacrifice of the Mass.”

But here, Jesus makes it clear: If on our way to Mass we encounter someone in need of help, we should first show mercy and attend to their needs. Then, we can continue on to the “sacrifice of the Mass”.

And if it happens that we completely miss Mass, we should not feel guilty or feel that God is upset with us. We are following the example Jesus gives us in the gospels.

In this gospel story, we once again see the similarities between parenthood and God’s love and concern for us, his children.

What parent celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with family and friends would not leave the celebration and rush to the hospital upon hearing their child had been in a serious accident on their way to the party.

Without doubt, God desires that we express our love of Him through our worship. But, God’s greatest concern is that His children show mercy to one another.

“The highest form of worship is to show mercy to the person in need.” – – Unknown



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