Daily Mass Reflections - 7/6
“I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” ~ Mark 2:17
Noted Theologian Jon Leonetti has been known to say from time to time that “The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners”. In today’s Gospel (Matthew 9:9-13) Jesus for the first time encounters Matthew, and after casting his gaze upon him, simply says “Follow Me.”
When Matthew rises and heeds the call, it causes much angst among the Pharisees, who upon witnessing this encounter are quick to observe that Jesus chooses to enjoy the company of tax collectors and other sinners. Upon hearing them, Jesus responds “Those who are well do not need a physician but the sick do.” Of course it’s only through the sin of pride that the Pharisees believe that they were in fact “well” and thus in no need of Jesus’ healing power in their live, as we all do, in the first place.
We see this in our society today, what with the proliferation and praise of self-professed “self made men. These success stories are typically held in very high esteem. I’ve come to realize though that the problem with self made men is that they tend to be overly infatuated with their “creator.” It is those who humbly seek healing and forgiveness who possess true wisdom and understanding, two of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In the closing moments of this passage, Jesus says “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” In order for us to move beyond occasional sacrifice to a mindset steeped in mercy, the type of non-judgmental and unconditional mercy that positively and powerfully impacts our relationships, we’re reminded that we must get our hearts involved.
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