"I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
Jesus may not have come to help the righteous, but he sure did try to show them the way! He taught them whenever opportunity rose, but they, so often like us, needed to open their eyes and ears. The lesson Jesus was trying to teach in today's gospel was, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." (v. 13) The lesson of mercy must not be lost of us, either. To paraphrase Brennan Manning in today's devotion: Pious thoughts cannot replace putting on an apron and washing dirty feet ("Reflections for Ragamuffins"). The work Jesus asks us to do is not just sitting around thinking religious thoughts. Joyce Rupp says in "Prayer," "The purpose of prayer is ultimately to bring forth and share the kind of love that shines with divine radiance." Our prayer must not stay in our prayer chair or in church! The "righteous" in Jesus' day thought they had all the answers because they followed all the rules. But the fact was they were far from salvation because they lacked mercy; and that was what God wanted of them, not just adherence to the rules. Lucky for us, we are among those Jesus came to save! Let's latch onto the hem of his cloak! Love, heidi