Today’s Thoughts: Today's gospel story is an illustration of what happens when we pay attention to accidentals rather than the essentials. The Pharisees profess to not violating a single part of the law, but they are lacking in the heart of the spirit of what the law is there to support. They judge but are lacking in compassion and mercy.
Jesus asks us to be merciful. He is not looking beyond the law and tradition. Jesus' whole life and ministry was an example of how to respond to sin. The religious leadership, some of whom we meet in the Gospel today, were upset because Jesus often spent time eating and drinking with sinners. They were angry because Jesus enjoyed the presence of sinners. The scribes and Pharisees argued that Jesus should shun sinners and that his compassion for them seemed to condone their life styles. These religious leaders didn't seem to understand that love heals; that love forgives and that love builds a community of faith, hope and love.
Pope Francis constantly calls us to be a community that offers mercy and forgiveness. He asks us to build bridges rather than walls, because this is what Jesus has taught us through his words and deeds. We might think that following the letter of the law defines a good religious person yet paying attention to the accidentals does not mean that we have invested in the essentials. Pope Francis asks us to hear Jesus' message that being a good religious means people who are merciful and compassionate. Pope Francis, like Jesus, reminds us that mercy proclaims the presence of God. Being merciful shares the good news of God's mercy. It helps us to lives out our faith and become a friend of God. Our acts of mercy help to make God present to the world.
As we journey through this day let us give thanks for the mercy and love of God who has reconciled each of us, and remains our help and sustains our lives. Let us share God’s love and mercy, freely, generously and with compassion.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...