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In our gospel today of Matthew 12:1-8, Jesus says, “If you knew what I meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men”. He rebukes the Pharisees saying if they are able to offer animal sacrifices on the sabbath, why can’t he allow his hungry disciples to respond to their need of food by eating? He even reminded them about when David did the same for himself and his companions when they were hungry.
 
Mercy is a loving response to human needs. Jesus responds with mercy to our needs, and wants us to respond with mercy to the needs of others. Mercy is much more important to Jesus than sacrifice.
 
This Gospel may cause us to reflect on our lives. In what ways are we focused on the wrong things?
Are we more focused on the rules and regulations of our faith than on responding with love and mercy to real human needs? Let us always be mindful of what response Jesus prefers from us.
 
De Colores, Deacon Kevin