As spoken by Jesus, these words refer instead to God. The love that is spoken of is not that which God expects from man, but the love God has for man. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” means: I want to be merciful, not to condemn. Its biblical equivalent is found in Ezekiel: “I do not want the death of the sinner, but that he convert and live.” God does not want to “sacrifice” his creature but to save him......
.......... In the “Imitation of Christ” it says “one does not live in love without suffering,” and this is confirmed by daily experience. There is no love without sacrifice. In this sense, Paul invites us to make our whole life “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1).
- Father Raniero Cantalamessa - Pontifical Household preacher.
The readings for this Sunday are Hosea 6:3-6; Romans 4:18-25; Matthew 9:9-13.