BEC April Reflection Paper: I want mercy not sacrifice

Focus : The God who sends us for mission
Event : Divine Mercy

How many of us have ever known someone that we really didn’t like? They were someone that we considered our rival, our opponent, our enemy. If we were given the chance, we would “take care of them”, hurt or destroy them. But how many of us have ever been in a situation that we could actually take out our hate and anger on our enemy…then decided to show mercy and take the honorable thing…take the high road and help them? Our theme this month is based from the Gospel of Matthew ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice”.

Opening Hymn
We stand for God and for his glory,
The Lord supreme and God of all;
Against his foes we raise his standard;
Around the cross we hear his call.

Strengthen our faith, Redeemer;
Guard us when danger is nigh;
To thee we pledge our lives and service,
Strong in a trust that ne’er can die

We stand for God! Jesus our master
Has died for us with love untold;
His law divine and truth unchanging
In this our land their place must hold.

We stand for God, let us be holy
Serving the Lord with hearts aflame
Working for Him not for the reward
Save for the glory of His name


Today’s tale is a true story that took place during World War 2 in the skies over Europe.

Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England. His B-17 was called “Ye Old Pub” and was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass was damaged and they were flying deeper and deeper into enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton. After flying the B-17 over an enemy airfield, a German pilot, Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got closer the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he “had never seen a plane in such a bad state”. The tail and rear section was severely damaged, the tail gunner was wounded and the top gunner was all over the top of the fuselage. The nose of the plane was smashed and there were holes everywhere. Despite having ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17 and looked at the English pilot, Charlie Brown, and saw that Brown was scared and struggling to control his damaged and blood-stained plane. Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie to turn around 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane back to the North Sea and to England. He then saluted Charlie Brown, turned away and headed back towards Europe. When Franz landed he told his commanding officer that he had shot down the B-17 over the sea, and never told the truth to anyone. Meanwhile, back in England, Charlie Brown and the remains of his crew told everyone at their briefing what had happened, but were then ordered never to talk about it.

More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the German Luftwaffe pilot who had saved his crew. After years of research, Franz was finally found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions. The two pilots met in America at the 379th Bomber Group reunion…together with 25 people who are now alive…all because Franz showed mercy and compassion and never fired his guns that day.When asked why he didn’t shoot them down, Stigler later said, “I didn’t have the heart to finish off those brave men. I flew beside them for a long time. They were desperately trying to get home and I was going to let them do that. I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting a man in a parachute.”

Reflection : What does the passage above means to you and for the Church today. Please share with one another.


Matthew 12:1-8
At that time Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”


  •  READ the text aloud and LISTEN with openness.
  •  READ it silently by yourself until a word or phrase touches or strikes you.
  •  What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through the word or phrase?
  • What do you say to the Lord in response to his Word?
  •  Share in small groups (3-4 persons) your experiences of how through the Divine
  • Mercy of God you touched others. Share your favorite bible verse and why it means
  • so much to you.

Deed : “Sent with Joy to heal” is the overall theme for this year 2020. Discuss how we can share the Word of God this year and bring joy and healing to the wounded through the mercy of God especially to the individuals, our family members, BEC, and people around us.

Closing prayer : Another member of the BEC

Closing Hymn :
Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me bring your love,
Where there is injury your pardon Lord,
And where there’s doubt true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

O Master grant that I may never seek,
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive.
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

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