I desire Mercy
How often do the Saints speak of divine mercy? All the time!
How often do the apparitions of Mary and her messages refer to her beloved Son’s mercy? Always!
“The Lord desires mercy, and not sacrifice.” Today’s Gospel passage is a strong reminder from Jesus that “His mercy endures forever.” The Lord expresses this in a more intimate manner as; He will never give up on me until I breathe my last breath. For this reason the Lord attracts so much attention – positive and negative.
Whenever Christ approached a village or town, the crowds would swell to immense numbers. No matter the size of the area that the Lord was in, people would come from the surrounding areas just to see, hear, and touch Him. They knew that they had an Advocate. They knew that they had someone who loved them. Don’t we all desire love? For the first time in their life, they received understanding, compassion, and mercy. They felt as though they belonged to the human race! The Pharisees and the Scribes, on the other hand, began to swell up with envy and anger because, for the first time in their life, they felt isolated and unwanted. What goes around comes around! The tax collectors and sinners were experiencing a change in heart because God’s heart, Christ, had touched it! “Only the fool in heart says, ‘there is no God!’” because only the fool in heart has a heart of stone!
I still find it remarkable that God would come to man; that He would have an interest in us after so much back talk, nonsense, and even outright rebellion against His Will and His Love! With all our silly explanations of the Universe and of life that attempt to block out God from discussion, why does He continue to bother with us? Because He loves us and loves us both unconditionally and voluntarily! When the Lord passed Matthew, He could have easily ignored him, insulted him, or judged him. Jesus instead did something amazing; He called him, dined with him, and invited him to follow. We can change! Men can change! Women can change! All it takes is a little bit of mercy.
We are called to care about the needy – spiritual and physical. We are called to lift the poor out from the bottom and to lift them up from the other end of the rope (cf. Amos 8:4). But in the end, we are called to reach out and invite others to follow the Lord; to make Saints from sinners. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” It takes one to know one, except for Christ – who knows and loves us all. Do I criticize to harm someone, or do I criticize to cure someone? I will know by the fruit I produce: wine or vinegar! Christ calls all of us to conversion, and not to condemnation. If you don’t believe me, He will prove it in the Confessional!