28 January 2010
10th Sunday in ordinary time
(Green) Cycle A/ Year II (June 8, 2008)
Hos 6:3-6/ Rom 4:18-25/ Mt 9:9-13
In the gospel, the Pharisees react outrageously when they see Jesus mingling with the tax collectors and the sinner. Somehow, we can empathize with the Pharisees in such kind of situation as sometimes we have pharisaic attitudes. Suppose we see our bishop and/or our priests frequenting with the drug pushers, prostitutes, illegal loggers, criminals, rapists and other socially condemned as sinners. Certainly, we can never avoid having such pharisaic reaction since we believe that the bishop and priests, being our leaders and guide to holiness, must never mingle with the sinners.
But this is what Jesus Christ does in the gospel. He mingles and eats with the tax collectors and the sinners. This is something scandalous to the Pharisees and our sight. Yet this we understand through the very words of Jesus when He says: “It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice. And indeed I came to call not the upright, but sinners” (Mt 9:12-13). Just as a medical doctor who loves the healthy life attends to the sick to cure them, so Jesus who loves the holy life attends to the sinner to convert them. And just as the sick need a doctor to heal them, so the sinners need Jesus Christ to save them.
When we are scandalized like the Pharisees by the action of Jesus or of the priests and bishop mingling with the sinners, it simply means that we are in a situation similar to that of the Pharisees. The Pharisees think that God must only associate with the righteous and that they themselves are righteous. In the same way, we too think that God and His representatives must not relate with the sinners and that we ourselves are not sinners. Like the Pharisees we become hypocrites in our own way and we judge others, a thing that we should not do. This we do because we simply do not know who we really are in the eyes of God.
To know our own reality, we have to remember that God has sent His divine Son to save the fallen humanity by dying on the cross and so that whosoever will believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Consequently, all of us are sinners and deserve the eternal damnation. But through the mercy and love of God, Jesus saves us by coming into our lives in one way or another, calling us to accept Him as our Lord and Savior and exhorting us to repent of our sins and be converted. We should never judge others as sinners; we must not stone others since all of us are judged as sinners by the divine justice. What we must do is throw ourselves into the mercy of God, ask forgiveness of our sins and help others to be back to the embrace of our Heavenly Father.
“I come to call not the upright, but sinners.” With these words, Jesus proclaims the good news of our salvation. God has come for all of us without exception. Jesus comes to us to unite Himself to each of us, whoever we may be and whatever situation we are in. We must never be self-righteous for we are all guilty under the divine justice. It is true that some of us have offended Christ in a terrible way but we must never lose heart. When you are socially condemned as sinner for crime, homicide, abortion, drug trafficking, illegal logging, illegal gambling, extortion, bribery, corruption, robbery, rape, prostitution, fornication, infidelity, adultery, polygamy, incest, free union or live-in, and others, you must put into your heart these very words of Jesus: “I come to call not the upright, but sinners.” But these words must not be taken only as a consoling phrase; it is rather a direct warning that since God has sacrificed His Son to death to save us, we must heed His call to conversion otherwise the eternal damnation to hell awaits us. At the same time, it is a call for immediate repentance and change of life since we do not know when our death will be.
On the other hand, such words of Christ are words of love and mercy of God who does not condemn us right away but rather give us chance to repent and be converted. God is love and He has come with us in Jesus Christ to make us feel His deep love for us by making us realize that He has died and resurrected in order to give us new life. As sinners loved by God, we must be guilty for our sinfulness and respond to the heroic and unconditional love of God with repentance and love for Him. This is what Matthew, the tax collector, does in the gospel. Called by Jesus to have a new life, immediately he leaves his old life of sin, welcomes Jesus into his life and surrenders himself to Jesus by becoming one of the Apostles. As sinners, we must imitate Matthew who, in spite of his being a great sinner and despised by the people, having known and felt the love of Jesus, answers the call of Jesus to new life. We too must, like Matthew, heed the call of Jesus to new life. We must respond at once since to delay the response is to deny the call of God and to deny the call is to reject God in our lives. This is equivalent to condemning ourselves to eternal punishment.
- 28/01/2010 22:29 - The priceless treasure
- 28/01/2010 22:28 - The sower goes to sow
- 28/01/2010 22:28 - My Yoke is easy, my burden light
- 28/01/2010 22:27 - Who Do You Say I Am?
- 28/01/2010 22:26 - Sheep without a shepherd
- 28/01/2010 22:24 - Depart frim Me, you evil doers!
- 28/01/2010 22:23 - Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood
- 28/01/2010 22:22 - Receive the Holy Spirit
- 28/01/2010 16:40 - LET DOWN YOUR NETS FOR A CATCH