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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.

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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

July 20, 2018

Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time


 Exodus 11:10 -- 12:14;

 Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18;

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."

 

 

I Desire Mercy

 

The Sabbath was the day the Jews set aside for worshipping God. God Himself, ordered the Jewish people to avoid certain kinds of work on this day to leave them free to give more time to God. As time went by, the rabbis complicated this divine precept: by Jesus' time they had extended to 39 the list of kinds of forbidden work.


The Pharisees accuse Jesus' disciples of breaking the Sabbath. In the interpretation of the scribes and the Pharisees, plucking ears of corn was the same as harvesting, and crushing them was the same as milling-types of agricultural work forbidden on the Sabbath.


Jesus rebuts the Pharisees' accusation by four arguments--the example of David, that of the priests, a correct understanding of the mercy of God and Jesus' own authority over the Sabbath.


Let me speak about the third point namely the importance of the correct understanding of the mercy of Gd. Here Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6, a more faithful translation would be: "I desire mercy more than sacrifice". It is not that our Lord does not want the sacrifices we offer Him: He is stressing that every sacrifice should come from the heart, for charity should imbue everything a Christian does.


Recently Pope Francis warned that some Christians are trying to establish the eighth sacrament of pastoral customs when they insist on protocol instead of seeking to meet spiritual needs.


One of the examples he mentioned was the scenario of a single mother who wants to have her child baptized in the church. She approaches the church authorities who object as she is not married in the church. Pope is against such attitude where we close the doors of the church on people who seek.


God desires mercy over sacrifice. Both are good if put in its proper perspective.  Sacrifice and mercy can become bad if misapplied.  They are good when we use them as Christ did.   They are good if we choose sacrifice for ourselves and mercy for others; they can become bad things if on the contrary we choose mercy for ourselves and sacrifice for others, that is, if we are indulgent with ourselves and rigorous with others, ready to excuse ourselves and quick to judge others.


Fr. Cyril Kuttiyanikkal CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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