Daily Reflections

Sinners

It's Really Simple

January 13, 2018

It’s Really Simple

January 13, 2018

Jesus speaks to us as he invites us to discipleship with a few simple words such as, “What are you looking for? And, “Come and see “, or as we hear him say to Levi today, “Follow me.”

Jesus speaks these words to the sinner, to the lost and the lonely. He speaks these words to all who are searching for meaning in life and even to those who have stopped looking or given up hope that God knows they exist.

The Gospel tells us that some scribes and Pharisees were complaining about Jesus, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Well, a simple answer could be “because you scribes and Pharisees don’t. You ignore them and treat them as outcasts and tell them nothing about the mercy and compassion of God.

To the complaint that Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners, I say “Thank God, because that’s us.” We’re all like Levi in some way, sinners and imperfect people in need of healing and forgiveness. In simple words and in a simple way apart from legal and theological language Jesus asks us “What are you looking for; what do you need?” He says “Follow me and come and see” what I can do.

The Gospel begins, “He went along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them.” He taught them goodness and compassion by calling and then dining with Levi.  The sick need a physician, not the righteous. In the concrete day to day events Jesus conveyed the meaning of the Ancient Scriptures held in high esteem by the scribes and Pharisees.

 In the reading from I Samuel we read how Samuel embraced Saul, kissed him and poured oil over his head, anointing him as the first King of Israel. Anointing was used for priests, prophets and Kings in the Old Testament. At our baptism we were anointed with Chrism Oil. The words of the rite say, “Just as Christ was anointed, Priest Prophet, and King so may you be as members of his body.” Jesus says. Follow me, and break bread with the sinner and be medicine for the sick with your presence.

Fr. Patrick Daugherty, C.P.

St. Paul of the Cross

Atlanta, GA