In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance. - St. Thomas Aquinas: (1225 – 1274: was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church)
Gospel Text: (LK 5:27-32)
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."
It’s early in the Lenten season, and Jesus reaches out to us with the healing touch of his Word in the Scriptures and his Life in the Sacraments — especially the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation as enriched by our prayer, penance, and sacrificial giving. We are called, as was Matthew (Levi in our Gospel reading above) to move beyond our old ways of being and doing, to embrace new lives of selflessness, generosity, and discipleship with Jesus and one another. As Psalm 86 states, God is good and forgiving, abounding in kindness.
Healthy Christian life in the 21st Century is possible – and encouraged! As did Matthew, may we say “yes” to Jesus the Divine Physician, and come to live renewed, healthy, Christ-like lives.