Jesus continues to fulfill his proclamation of Luke 4:18-19 as he eats with tax collectors and others (sinners) at the home of Levi, himself a tax collector. He was preaching the good news to those who thought themselves rich but who in fact were poor. The tax collectors were considered public sinners because they cooperated with the Roman occupiers in collecting taxes and because often they were dishonest and collected more than they had a right to charge.
It was the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, to whom Jesus had already preached the good news, who were criticizing Jesus for eating with Levi and his guests. Obviously they hadn't taken the good news to heart. Jesus explains to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:27-31). This statement leaves the pharisees and professors with two options: either they can consider themselves the righteous ones who are not called or they can consider themselves to be sinners who are called.
For Reflection: Would I rather be inside eating at the banquet with Jesus and the public sinners or outside asking questions?
Let us pray. Jesus, you came to call all people, even me. Help me to overcome my doubts which keep me on the outside, questioning you, so that I may enter through the door and sit down with you.
(This theme began on September 25, 2014. Photo: Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_surasaki'>surasaki / 123RF Stock Photo</a>)
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.