Friday 16 July 2021

Today is Friday, the 16 July, in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time.   


Audrey Assad and Paul Zach sing, ‘In the Fields of the Lord’. Spend a moment meditating on the rest that God brings…  


Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew. 


Matthew 12:1-8 

Jesus went through the cornfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath. He said to them, Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless?I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.But 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.’     


Here Jesus is once again confronted by the Pharisees who keep the outward rules of the law, without obeying the inner meaning. What do you think the inner meaning of the law is here? 


Jesus came to fulfil the law, not to abolish it. Just as priests were able to minister in the Temple on the Sabbath without breaking the law of God, so the disciples are able to break the normal rules and conventions of the Sabbath because Jesus is here, and he is Lord of the Sabbath. What is Jesus trying to make people aware of?   


As you listen to the reading again, ask yourself how exactly this all relates to your own life.   


In these last few moments of prayer, ask for the grace to be able to better understand the phrase, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” 


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.