A Quality Of Mercy Is Understanding
Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
We are to try to understand one another, not rashly condemn each other. Few people do anything without a reason. Maybe we don’t agree with that reason, maybe if we had the same state of mind as the person who has that reason for doing what he does, we still would not perform that same action. But we are to try to understand why a person does what he does, then try to alleviate the situation that produced his action.
Like when a person cheats or lies, steals, robs, or kills, all of which are unacceptable actions, instead of only striking out to condemn and punish why not try to discover and understand the underlying cause. And then, if we can, try to eliminate or at least lessen that cause. To condemn and punish people for what they do without doing anything to change what led them to do it is not only a waste of time, it is acting without the mercy of God.
We are told in our gospel today that on a Sabbath as Jesus walked through the standing grain with his disciples, they felt hungry and pulled off some heads of the grain and ate them. “See here!” protested the Pharisees. “Your disciples are doing what is not permitted on the Sabbath.” If you understood the meaning of the text, “It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice,” Jesus told them, “you would not have condemned these innocent men.” Why do people do what they do? The reasons are important. We must try to understand, be compassionate, and do what we can to lessen one another’s burdens, or the world will not get better, only worse.