"Openness to God makes us open towards the marginalized of this world, and gives us the courage to leave the confines of our own security and comfort to become bruised, hurting and dirty as we joyfully approach the suffering other in a spirit of solidarity." – Pope Francis
Gospel Text: (MT 9:9-13)
As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, "Follow me."
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
He heard this and said,
"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
Whom did he choose? Matthew, the author of today’s Gospel, indicates that he went to tax collectors -- like himself -- and to “sinners”.
Jesus doesn’t seem to care what official status one has in society; he does however seem to care deeply about who you are as a person. In fact he seems attracted primarily to those with little or no status in society. Jesus seems attracted to peasants, fishermen, children, women, the physically and mentally impaired – yes even outcasts and “sinners.”
Today’s Gospel prompted me to ask: To whom would Jesus be attracted to today? Whom would he call to be his closest disciples?
Do we ostracize and demean certain groups of people whom Jesus himself might be specially drawn to?
Today’s Gospel got me wondering………..