February 25, 2012
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Father Paul Hubert, LC
Listen to podcast version here.
Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting
at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me."
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his
house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others
were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes
complained to his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and
drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus said to them
in reply, "Those who are healthy do not need a
physician, but the sick do. I have not come to
call the righteous to repentance but sinners."
Introductory Prayer: Sunny days, cloudy days
and rainy days all come from you, Lord. You surprise
us each day as you make each day different to
bring us closer to your coming, in which we hope.
Lord, your love explains everything and guides all things. I
wish to respond to your infinite mercy and love by
loving you more each day.
Petition: Lord you know how difficult it is
for me to forgive. Help me to do so always.
1. The Doctor
Who Cures the Sick: What a great reply:
“I have not come to call the righteous to repentance
but sinners.” It is a statement open to all humanity
in need of redemption. It is an affirmation that shows
us that God is not exclusive. Christ has come for
all sinners, and he extends to everyone his call to
repent and be transformed by his grace. It shows us
that Christ wants to reach everybody and forgive everybody. He
is not like us, who discriminate and hold grudges. When
someone sins more, God makes particular efforts to reach that
person and offer his pardon and his elevating grace. What
an example for us to follow when we have difficult
moments in our dealings with others! Christ teaches us patience.
Christ teaches us that we must love and build bridges
whenever the opportunity arises.
2. We Must Evangelize the Sick: Christ sets the
example and sends us to evangelize people who do not
know him, or who offend him knowingly, half-knowingly, or even
unknowingly. Interestingly enough, it is those who oppose Christ whom
he calls the “righteous,” because they are inflexible, and their
criteria cannot be bent. Christ calls us, on the other
hand, to forgive, as often as is necessary (Luke 17:4).
We need to learn how to forgive in a world
that tells us to be tough and not to let
anything get past us.
3. Forgiveness Can Only Come from Love and Lead
to Love: This Gospel reminds us of the story of
the adulterous woman who was brought before Jesus. The Law
of Moses was clear, yet Jesus knew that something had
to be changed in order for man to be able
to reach heaven. He knew that only forgiveness and love
for everyone would unite all men in paradise. He knew
all men had sinned, and therefore they could not accuse
someone else without indirectly accusing themselves. That is why Christ
answered to those who accused the adulterous woman, “Let the
one who is sinless cast the first stone” (John 8:7).
We are all sinners. We all need to be forgiven
and to forgive one another. We all need to allow
love to invade our hearts so that it may be
the bond that reunites us.
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for giving
me the solution to my life. Help me to forgive
wholeheartedly those who have done me wrong. Help me to
love them, pray for them and do good to them
even though they hinder and harm me. Help me to
strive tirelessly to bring to the world your solution to
division, discrimination, hatred and war.
Resolution: I will think of the people I
dislike or am indifferent to, and I will consider at
least one of their good qualities. If the opportunity arises,
I will speak well of them, and if I can,
I will do a good deed for them.