Today, Jesus gives us what might be considered to be his mission statement: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Or at least we might consider this to be his statement of what he wants from us, his people. And we, like the Pharisees, might be tempted to make all sorts of sacrifices. That might mean sacrificing our time to work long hours to attain our goals. Or maybe we sacrifice to give to the poor, or spend more time at Church, or whatever. None of those things is bad in and of themselves, in fact, depending on our intentions, they are probably good things. But if we don’t have mercy in the mix, if we don’t then also extend God’s love to our family, coworkers, or whoever God puts in our presence today, then we’ve blown it. It’s all for nothing. But, if we put mercy first, if we forgive as we have been forgiven and love as we have been loved, then we’ve gotten our mission statement right, too.