As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:9-17
Mercy, Not Sacrifice
Take my hand and know me
as the child I once was aching
hoping that someone would
understand and accept me.
Just like I am and not like you
swaddled and cradled from birth
I am not newly arrived though
you would send me away just the same.
I was formed in the warm earth
rounded by years under the sky
my people talk and sing differently
you would have us disappear.
We are broken just like you are
parents and children with problems
mistakes and anger can overwhelm
yet we are invited to the banquet as well.
I am not less than the angels like you
no more than a member of the family
like you I crave a place and a name
yet I am content with belonging.
Welcome me and see the blessings
get a little closer and sing along
there is nothing to fear in your sister
we are relatives, blood and toil bound.