Saturday, February 13, 2016

Reflection: Luke 5:27-32

Saturday after Ash Wednesday – Luke 5:27-32

Today we hear the familiar story of the tax collector, Levi.  He was sitting at the customs post when Jesus came by and spoke to him.  Jesus invited Levi (whom I assume he didn’t really know) to follow him.  On the spur of the moment, Levi got up, walked away from the customs post, and followed Jesus! 

Levi must have been fairly wealthy.  He hosted a great banquet for Jesus at his home.  Naturally Levi had invited his friends, many of whom were tax collectors. As they sat at table, the Pharisees and scribes came and complained to Jesus’ followers and asked them why the dined with such sinners.

Jesus overheard them asking the question and responded directly to them. 
Jesus bluntly told them that people who are healthy do not need a doctor, but the people who are ill need a doctor to care for them!  Then Jesus also tells the Pharisees that he has not come to those who are see themselves as righteous. Rather, he has come to call those who are in need of healing.  More specifically, Jesus tells them that he has come to call sinners!

Can you imagine the stir his comment must have made?  I assume that the Pharisees were taken aback by Jesus blunt criticism.  Were any of them able to own the truth of Jesus’ words or were they simply angry with Jesus’ and his criticism of them?  Did one or two of them walk away from Jesus feeling ashamed of their judgment?  Were any of them intrigued with Jesus and want to learn more about him?  If so, they were people who had open hearts and open minds.

What in this Gospel touches you deeply?  Identify a sentence or a few words in this reading that stay with you.  Reflect on the reading for a few minutes.  What is the message you want to take to heart today?  What is Jesus inviting you to today?  How will you respond?

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