“Let Your kindness come to me, O Lord.” –Psalm 119:41

In today’s first eucharistic reading and Gospel passage, the Galatian Christians and the Pharisees are admonished by St. Paul and Jesus, respectively. These two groups seem to have been unable to grasp that God prefers to work through merciful love and loving-kindness rather than through religious practices motivated by attempts to justify ourselves with the Lord.

Jesus challenged the Pharisees – and us, too – to “go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice’ ” (Mt 9:13; see also Hos 6:6). Let us then continually pray the words of today’s psalm response, “Let Your kindness,” tender mercy, and loving-kindness “come to me, O Lord” (Ps 119:41).

The approach of the tax collector, humbly and honestly casting himself on the mercy of God, is the way approved by Jesus as the one that was justified in the sight of God (Lk 18:14). The approach of trying to earn our way into God’s favor does not justify ourselves with God, and is also impossible to accomplish (Is 26:18; Ps 49:9). Pray humbly with the Church today: “Lord, let Your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in You” (see Ps 33:22).

PRAYER: Lord, let Your love and mercy come to me, rather than Your justice. I lay my life before You and ask You to save me by Your mercy. Jesus, I place my trust in You.
PROMISE: Faith “expresses itself through love.” –Gal 5:6
PRAISE: Before being widowed, St. Hedwig built a hospital. Afterwards she joined a monastery and became a nun.

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