Stop trying to convince God of things

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Too often our religious attitude is entirely based on the logic of sacrifice, thinking our behavior and actions can gain us God’s favor.

Today’s readings can be found here.

Matthew 12:1-8

Reflection

“If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”

Christianity consists in understanding this verse. Too often our religious attitude is entirely based on the logic of sacrifice, thinking our behavior and actions can gain us God’s favor.

The kind of life that is born out of faith is not supposed to convince God of anything. It should rather make us live mercifully, it should make us capable of loving to the extreme, of loving people in their misery, freely, bridging the gaps, finding them where they are, caring for them as they are. 

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Judgment is the exact opposite of this attitude, especially when we judge others for ostensibly laudable religious reasons.

Now, Jesus is not interested in abolishing any customs. He wants to deliver us from the superstitious attitude with which we embrace them.

We too are victims of those same attitudes. We can easily give our lives to defend a given tradition, and then completely ignore the pain of those right next to us. What gives more glory to God: a tradition, or mercy?

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Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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