Exodus 11:10 -12:14 / Matthew 12:1-8
If there is a great offer or a not-to-be-missed kind of sale, we would certainly not want to miss it.
Especially if it is something that we really wanted, and so we would hurry and try to be among the first in line.
It won't be a time to ask the unnecessary questions like "How long must I wait?' or "Don't know if I can get it". We won't waste time. As it is said "The early bird catches the worm".
In the 1st reading, the people were given instructions on how to eat the first Passover meal. And they were told specifically "You shall eat it hastily: it is a passover in honour of the Lord".
So the moment to be freed from the bondage of slavery had come, and the passover meal is to commemorate it.
But it is not to be eaten leisurely, and the instruction is "You shall eat it like this: with a girdle round your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand".
It was not a time for small talk and unnecessary questions. And those who don't follow those instructions will probably never see freedom again.
Yes, it was God's mercy that freed the Israelites from the bondage of slavery. And it is God's mercy that continues to free us from our sins and save us from the grasp of evil.
So we need to understand the meaning of the words "What I want is mercy, not sacrifice". And let us not waste time in understanding those words. Because it is too great and too good to miss it.