As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Dear Father your son brought people to him that were sinners. Those who were seeking healing and forgiveness for their sins. He drew those who were spiritually sick as well as physically. Those who are sick look for healing and turn to Jesus for his mercy. He has so much compassion for those who are ill, because they need him. They are grateful for his love. He asks us to learn the meaning of the words, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." Yet it is hard for us to understand that having compassion for each other gives us the grace to heal. It is hard for us to understand also that when we offer our tears as a sacrifice this is not what it is he is asking for a sacrifice. It is the sacrifice we would give up that frees us to have mercy toward one another. It is opening our hearts to one another and doing for them as we would do for ourselves. We pray for mercy from you dear God, for we are often unloving toward our neighbor, when we too should have mercy for them. May our hearts open to the love you seek from us because it is the love you are generous with for us. Amen