When Jesus went out again beside the lake, a crowd came to Him and He taught them. As he walked along, he saw a tax collector sitting in his office. This was Levi, the son of Alpheus. Jesus said to him, «Follow me». And Levi got up and followed Him. And it so happened that while Jesus was eating in Levi's house, tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Him and His disciples for there were indeed many of them. But there were also teachers of the Law of the Pharisees' party, among those who followed Jesus, and when they saw Him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, «Why! He eats with tax collectors and sinners!». Jesus heard them and answered, «Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners».
We are all called to follow Jesus. ‘Follow me’ demands certain discernment and courage. Courage to take a different path, sometime which no one has ever dared for. It requires to put all our confidence in the divine providence. Sometime with others, and very often, God gives special and individual mission. Let us not forget that before entrusting a mission to us, He does blesses us with necessary grace needed to accomplish this mission.
The second and important aspect would be a communitarian fulfilment. Just like Mathew, we too are called to celebrate it with others and allow others to enter in to our own interiority. Here it involves a high risk of vulnerability, and a delicate divine accompaniment. It is important that we remain inclusive and never exclusive.
Jesus affirms that the incarnation is to elevate the humanity towards His divinity and to heal our wounds. All those who are wounded in life, isolated by the society, ignored by the dear and near ones, are the essential benefactors of this Incarnation. Let us be doubly assured with certitude that this God continues to heal our wounds and we are called to do the same to our brothers and sisters. Thus we can’t afford to remain eternal consummators of divine goodness, without participating actively in the salvific mission of Jesus. Have a wonderful day.
«I did not come to call the righteous but sinners»
Fr. Joaquim MONRÓS i Guitart
Today, Saint Mark tells us how Jesus taught and how the crowd came to Him. In those days, they were as hungry of doctrine as we are today, ignorance being always our worst enemy. Let us not forget the expression: «They will hate no more when they ignore no more»...
As He walked along, Jesus sees Levi, son of Alpheus, sitting in his office and, says to him: «Follow me» (Mk 2:4), and Levi leaves everything and follows Him. With his promptitude and generosity Levi scored his biggest “business”. Not only the “business of the century”, but the business of Eternity, too.
It would be worth our mulling over Roman tax collectors, who ceased to exist a long while ago, while Levi —better known today as Matthew— keeps piling up profits with his writings, as one of the twelve pillars of the Church. This is what happens when we promptly follow our Lord. He said: «And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life» (Mat 19:29).
Jesus accepted the banquet Matthew offered Him and His apostles at home, together with other tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees —who always seemed to prefer witnessing how others worked— felt like informing His disciples that their Master was eating with people they considered as sinners. The Lord hears them and, in self-defense, He answers: «I did not come to call the righteous but sinners» (Mk 2:17). Mankind is in hard need of that divine Healer. We are all sinners and, as Saint Paul says, «for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God» (Rom 3:23).
Let us always answer as quickly as Mary used to do when responding to Her vocation as co-redeemer.