by Melodius Monk  

“Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice’.” In reading Matthew’s Gospel this week, this command from Jesus stuck in my mind as something to ponder. I go about many days with these verbs reversed, thinking if I sacrifice enough, then God will show mercy. But this is not what Jesus asks.

Mercy can be defined as: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

I feel awkward that Jesus desires for me to show him compassion. How is it that the God of the universe desires that I show him mercy? Is it actually within our power to punish or harm this omnipotent God of all creation?  Does God care for each of us so intimately that my rudeness, self-centeredness or arrogance hurts God so much that he desires – but does not force – yet desires mercy from me? Surely this generous love leaves plenty to ponder.

The Altar in the foreground with the Cross behind.

This entry was posted in Forgiveness, God, God's Call, Jesus, Reflections, Scripture, Teaching by Melodius Monk. Bookmark the permalink.

About Melodius Monk

I'm 30 years old, and I grew up at the Community of Jesus. My parents moved from Ohio to live at the Community two years before I was born, so with the exception of a few years at college, I’ve lived in the Community my whole life. I became a Novice Brother in 2003, and made my profession as a brother in 2005. Currently I have a pretty varied life as a brother. In addition to daily responsibilities in our liturgies, I cook, sing, play trumpet, and am responsible for various cleaning and maintenance needs in the church building (my favorite jobs is changing the light bulbs at 45 feet!) I also arrange transportation for brothers to various appointments, work on repairing musical instruments, clean the barn, give tours of the church, make the weekly food menu for the Friary, and help out with various other needs as they arise around the Community. Growing up, I was not particularly interested in the religious life, but I met Jesus at an inter-varsity fellowship meeting my second year in college, and that re-directed my life drastically. I feel very fortunate to have found my life’s calling, and the hope for more wholeness is what keeps me on my monastic journey on difficult days.

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