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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus corrects the Pharisees with this theme of his ministry: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

Every saint had a past, and every sinner has a future. That is key to Catholic spirituality. In the lives of every one of these heroes of the faith, there is some conversion. And every sinner—every one of us—has a future. That is why we soak in the mercy of God. 

There is a beautiful reference in the Psalms to oil running down upon your beard, upon the collar of your robe. The divine mercy is like that: poured out upon us, poured out without reservation—and not because it’s earned, because it can’t be earned. 

God doesn’t love us because we’re worthy. We’re worthy because he loves us. We don’t deserve his mercy, but we soak it in and thereby are transformed.