Friday, July 19, 2019

When mercy is shown, mercy is given.


“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” ― Abraham Lincoln: (1809 – 1865: was an American statesman, politician, and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.

-->
Gospel Text: (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 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."

One key truth we can learn from this passage is that God calls us to interpret His law through the eyes of mercy.  Mercy always refreshes us, lifts us up and fills us with new energy.  It motivates us to worship and fills us with hope.  Mercy does not impose a heavy legalistic burden upon us; rather, God’s mercy and law together rejuvenates us and refreshes us.
-->

Thursday, July 18, 2019

“The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.”


We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God - Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968: was an American Trappist monk)

Gospel Text: (MT 11:28-30)
Jesus said:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

What is it that burdens you?  What is it that weighs you down and tempts you to fall into depression, sorrow or even despair?  Is there something that you tend to think about obsessively?  Is there some concern that you can’t seem to shake?  Whatever it is that troubles your heart, Jesus wants to lift it.

Reflect, today, upon that gentle invitation from Jesus: “Come to me.”  Come to Him without fear and without hesitation.  Turn everything over to Him and let Him sort things out.  He loves you more than you know and will set your feet on the right path.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy”


“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Gospel Text: (MT 11:25-27)
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

In the passage above, Jesus affirms that the Father reveals His answers and wisdom to those who are childlike.  Interestingly, He also states that the Father has “hidden these things from the wise and learned.”  So this begs the question…is it better to be “wise and learned” or “childlike?”  Obviously the answer is that it’s better to be childlike.

In particular, it’s good to be one who is open, curious, and willing to learn.  It’s good to look at life in the simplest of ways and to stick to the basics.  Sure, it’s good to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the things of God.  But true wisdom and knowledge always maintain a certain innocence and simplicity.  They maintain a basic goodness and acceptance of right and wrong.  Life does not have to be complicated, it needs to become exceptionally simple.