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Friday, July 4, 2008

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St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
Matthew 9:9-13

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vive la difference!

"When will the new moon be over?" —Amos 8:5

Like worshippers in Amos' time, many of today's worshippers think: "When will church be over? Then I can:

  • watch the ball games,
  • go see a movie,
  • tell my neighbor how much I dislike my priest's homilies,
  • get something to eat,
  • do my own thing, or
  • remind God what a sacrifice it is to be at church today."

After we heed the call of Jesus to "go and learn the meaning of the words: 'It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice' " (Mt 9:13), then our worship changes. During Mass, we think: "When church is over, I can:

  • tell my family that I love them,
  • share Jesus with my neighbors, even with the outcast (Mt 9:10),
  • thank and encourage my priest (see Heb 13:17),
  • follow Jesus (Mt 9:9),
  • show mercy to someone who has hurt me (Mt 9:13), and
  • let God know how grateful I am for His mercy to me."

Do you see what Jesus means when He points out the difference between heartfelt mercy and sacrifice?

Prayer:  "Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine."

Promise:  "Happy are they who observe His decrees, who seek Him with all their heart." —Ps 119:2

Praise:  St. Elizabeth didn't wait until her husband treated her well to love him. She loved him as he was with all his faults and sinfulness.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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