"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13).

Mercy is of a higher moral order than sacrifice. Sacrifice observes religious forms. Mercy is intimate and personal. Sacrifice conforms to long-revered tradition. Mercy breaks with tradition. Sacrifice is external. Mercy is internal and spiritual. Jesus made his preference clear. He chose mercy over ecclesiastical law, and so should we.

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