Malankara World

Today with Jesus

God of Love and Mercy

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada

Today's Bible Verse

"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6)

Discussion

 What do you prefer- mercy or holocausts?

With out love, mercy, and compassion, rituals and religions are meaningless. Today's world is filled with all kinds of problems. To save our sinking world, a generation of compassionate people should have risen. Rituals, in any form, will not save anybody if it is not rooted in mercy.

Religious rituals can help people understand God and nourish their relationship with Him. That is why God instituted circumcision and the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, and the sacraments to nourish spiritual growth in the New Testament. But a religious ritual is helpful only if it is carried out with an attitude of love and obedience to God. If a person's heart is not connected to God, then rituals just become empty mockery.

Why do you worship? What is the motive behind your "Sacrifices" and "Offerings"? In the name of religion, women/men are stoned, widows are made to walk in their husbands' funeral pyres and innocent people are slaughtered in wars that are waged in the name of God. The men who crucified Jesus could very well have been gentle husbands and loving fathers who practiced cruelty to maintain their religion or ideologies.

Here is a newspaper account of torture practiced in modern concentration camps - The victim is bound to a metal chair and then electric shocks are administered to him in increasing intensity till he confesses. They slap the victim on the ear repeatedly with cupped hands till the eardrum breaks. A dentist straps the prisoner to a chair and drills his tooth till he strikes a nerve. The drilling goes on till the victim agrees to co-operate.

Human beings are not naturally cruel. They become cruel when they are unhappy or when they succumb to an ideology not in concurrence with mercy and love. So, we should shun away from any religion or rituals that kill and torture others for any reason whatsoever and instead should focus on love and compassion.

Prayer

Jesus, you are the God of mercy and love. You support and nourish our lives. We pray for those who are suffering and tortured in homes, jail, concentration camps and on death rows. Let your love blossom in the hearts of all human beings. We ask this in the name of Jesus.

Amen

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