Isaiah 58:9b-14 ● Luke 5:27-32
The Pharisees and their religion scholars came to his disciples greatly offended. “What is he doing eating and drinking with crooks and ‘sinners’?”
Jesus heard about it and spoke up, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders, not insiders—an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out.”
Often we identify with a particular character or group of characters in the Gospel stories. Who we identify with or relate to may change over time depending on our life situations. That’s why the Bible is said to be the Living Word—it will have new meaning for us time and time again as we come back to it.
Do you find yourself relating to the Pharisees at this point in your life—feeling indignant that Jesus’ mercy extends to those you dislike or judge unworthy? If so, pray to feel Jesus’ compassion for them. Ask God’s help in letting go of your judgments. Or do you feel like one of the sinners who has been unexpectedly invited to the party? If so, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the experience of knowing God’s mercy.
Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.