YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 15TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: God desires Mercy; Not Sacrifice.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: Exodus 11:10-12:14, Psalm 116 and Matthew 12:1-8
“If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:7-8)
Every religion has certain rules surrounding offering worship and sacrifices to God. For instance in our first reading this morning, God establishes the feast of Passover for the people of Israel and we can see the rules attached to this feast.
There is an exact day to pick up the lamb, there is an exact day to slaughter the lamb, there is an exact way to prepare it, (not to be boiled or fried but simply roasted), there is an exact way to eat it, there is even a way to dress to eat it and there is a time frame within which it must be totally consumed. And not just that, there is a memorial that must be celebrated every year.
In a similar way, we know that there is a way to make the sign of the cross, there is way to say the rosary, there is a way to genuflect in church and there is a way to behave before the Blessed Sacrament. Etc. All these are rituals which should help us connect with God!
However, as we see in our Gospel passage, there is an extent to which our worship of God becomes reduced to the mere observation of rules. This was the problem of the Pharisees.
It is like building a mansion and putting a housekeeper in charge of keeping it clean. One day, you travel to a distant place and leave an instruction behind: “Keep this house clean always, don’t even allow a fly perch on the wall.”
Then after some time, you come home and your housekeeper would not allow you to enter your own house because according to your instruction, nothing should enter the house, not even a fly should perch on the wall.
It sounds funny but this is what happens when we observe rules at the detriment of actually worshipping God. No wonder, Jesus says: “I desire mercy not sacrifice.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may my worship of you be pure and sincere. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Exodus 11:10-12:14, Psalm 116 and Matthew 12:1-8).