Friday of the 15th Week of Ordinary Time
July 17, 2020
Isaiah 38:10-12, 16
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
In the Contemporary World the Spiritual dimensions of following God has been divided between faith and love. Let us understand these two dimensions which give us true understanding of our Religion or way of life or our belief. The simple meaning of faith is “trusting relationship” and when this trusting relationship establishes, love emerges from this relationship. The prayers, sacrifices , Sacraments, Scriptures and rituals are the mediums or ways or signs which show , how to enter in to a trusting relationship. When a person walks through these ways by applying them in their daily life , he enter in to a relationship and the result of this relationship is love. This is the Chemistry or Theology or formula of Faith and love in any Spiritual life.
We must understand this Chemistry of love in a more profound way and let us look at the context of the teachings of Jesus . Jesus exposes the Pharisees their hypocrite way of the rules and regulation of Sabbath. Sabbath was designed to honor God by spending time with God by resting in his presence and refresh our love. The purpose of Sabbath to refresh our love but the Pharisees gave priorities to the ways and rules of the Sabbath and the love of God was completely missing in the ritual of Sabbath. Temples , Liturgy, Scriptures are the mediums to enter in to a love relationship and refresh our love with the power of Divine love.
Jesus says in today’s Gospel, he wants mercy and not Sacrifice. The Sacrifice is basically is an act to show gratitude or thanksgiving to God’s love but if the Sacrifice miss the main purpose of God’s love , the purpose of Sacrifice becomes a mere ritual. This even applies in our Prayers and Contemplative Spirituality. Prayer is an act of love , if our prayer is merely a quoted words or claiming from the Scriptures without understanding the purpose of those scriptures then our claiming or quotes may become a demand notice.
Faith and love are one and the same. When we enter in to a trusting relationship we love everything including our enemies or on all odd things of our life because our ultimate goal of life is love and not the weakness or shortcomings of this World. This is the ultimate purpose of Gods Creation of Humans in this World to love. When we love and show mercy we fulfill all the rituals, prayers and sacrifices because love is the fruit and the way to show faith is the seed , when the seed sprouts in to a trusting relationship, it disappears but the love remains forever. The Righteous is based on love , we are made righteous through the acts of Divine love. The self Sacrifice can be a act of self righteousness, if the love is missing in the action.
We see many people , Communities are based on Sacrificial life but the ultimate purpose of love is totally missing , today Jesus speaks to all of us I do not seek your Sacrificial life but a life full of Charity and love. Mother Theresa could not see this love in her Convent in which she lived, though the Community had Sacrificial Vows of Obedience, Chastity, Poverty but she could not see real love and Compassion towards their neighbors. We see families live a sacrificial life ,not to give love to their spouse and children but to give them better life style , prosperity, richness, luxury and education. Today our Spouses and Children require love and not any other things in their life, we are so much wrong, we seek love in the Worldly rituals and sacrifice our life by leaving their families and spouses for decades and working for money for better lifestyle. Modern lifestyle can not produce love and all our Sacrifice will be a big waste when we realize our Children and spouses seeking love in other religions or ways of life who are more loving and merciful.
In this Pandemic the Lord is asking us to reflect upon our ways of our spirituality like our long prayers, repeated prayers, prayers like a demand notice, sacrificial prayers, our rituals, our fasting, our claiming of Scriptures, Our Prophesies, Our messages . If these ways do not lead us to the love of God, then in this pandemic we will not sit and pray but put our feet and money to help the poor and sick. Jesus is telling us to reflect upon the meaning of : God seeks mercy and not sacrifice.
Prayer : Lord Jesus open my eyes to the eyes of Mercy.Amen