AMOS 8: 4 – 6, 9 – 12
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat?” “On that day,” says the Lord God, “I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and the end of it like a bitter day. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run back and forth, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.”
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 119: 2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131 (R.) Mt 4: 4
R/. Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
Blessed are those who keep his decrees!
With all their hearts they seek him. R/.
I have sought you with all my heart;
let me not stray from your commands. R/.
My soul is consumed with longing
at all times for your decrees. R/.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
your decrees I have upheld. R/.
See, I long for your precepts;
give me life by your justice. R/.
I have opened my mouth and I sigh,
for I yearn for your commands. R/.
Matthew 11: 28
Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician,’ I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”
MATTHEW 9: 9 – 13
At that time: As Jesus passed on, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: Mercy for the Sinner
July 1, 2022
“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.” (Matthew 9:12-13)
Jesus did not come for the “righteous” but came for “sinners.” This may be surprising at first because it seems that Jesus should have said that He came for all people, the righteous and the sinner. But what we must understand is that no one is truly righteous. In other words, everyone is a sinner in need of the Savior.
By speaking this way, Jesus is addressing the self-righteous attitude of the Pharisees who seemed to think that Jesus should only associate with those who were without sin. The Pharisees acted as if they were “righteous” and that Jesus should only associate with them and any others who were not publicly known to be sinners.
Sadly, the sin of the Pharisees was of a far graver nature than the sins of the tax collectors and the other sinners who came to Jesus. The Pharisees were guilty of the sin of spiritual pride and were sinning by presuming that they were righteous. When one fails to see their sin, God cannot forgive them since they do not repent.
Though this is a powerful condemnation of the Pharisees and others who are guilty of being self-righteous, it is also an invitation from Jesus to all who readily admit their sin. When we can humble ourselves before the perfection of God and see our sins in the light of His glory, we will be tempted to despair and feel shame for our sins. But shame will turn into joy and freedom when we allow our Lord to act as the Divine Physician in our lives. The purpose of His earthly life was to bring healing to our wounds of sin. When we realize how His perfect mercy perfectly heals us, we will readily run to Him.
Reflect, today, upon how ready and willing you are to confess your sins to Jesus. Do not hesitate to trust in His perfect love for you and to open yourself up fully to His divine mercy.
Lord of perfect mercy, I turn to You in my need and admit my sin and guilt. I am sorry for having offended You and I know that You are the one and only answer for my sin. Please have mercy on me, dear Lord, and forgive me for all my sin. Jesus, I trust in You.