Posted by: frburke23 | January 16, 2016

Thought for Saturday, 1st Week of Ordinary Time

MARK 2:13-17
Jesus went out along the sea.
All the crowd came to him and he taught them.
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus,
sitting at the customs post.
Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed Jesus.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples;
for there were many who followed him.
Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners
and tax collectors and said to his disciples,
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus heard this and said to them,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
========================================
There is a famous painting by Caravaggio of the calling of Matthew, which is described in this Gospel. It is one of my favorite paintings because it depicts Matthew’s surprise to be called by Jesus. Tax collectors were not held in high esteem as they often cheated their own fellow Israelites out of money for the Roman Empire. But Jesus does not see us just as sinners, but He sees as potential saints. That is His desire – to love us, to heal us and to save us.

The indignant scribes and Pharisees could not believe that Jesus was eating with such sinners, but Jesus reveals His mission in response. “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

We should allow these words to wash over us today as we think about the people around us. Sometimes we judge people at church, thinking to ourselves, “I can’t believe that person is here” or “How can that person receive Communion?” Other people stay away from church because they say it is full of hypocrites.

Well my friends, that is why we need a church. The Church is like a spiritual hospital for sinners, including even the leaders of the Church. We are all sinners and are in need of God’s grace and mercy. Jesus called Matthew, not because he was already a saint. Jesus called Matthew because He saw that this sinner could be a saint. Jesus sees the same thing in me and you. Sinners though we are, Jesus calls out to us, “Follow me.”

The evil one wants us to think that we are not worthy of God’s love and mercy. The evil one also wants us to judge our neighbor and to tear each other apart. Jesus came so that we might be one. Jesus came to love, to heal, to rescue, to save, and to call sinners to become saints.

Do I recognize that I am a sinner in need of God’s mercy?
Do I judge others harshly so that I can feel better about myself?
Have I responded to my call to discipleship from Jesus?
Do I believe that with God’s grace I can be a saint?

Jesus is calling you and me, sinners though we are, to be saints in 2016!
Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

MARCOS 2:13-17
Jesús se fue a lo largo del mar.
Toda la multitud se acercó a él y él les enseñaba.
Al pasar, vio a Leví, hijo de Alfeo,
sentado en el despacho de impuestos.
Jesús le dijo, “Sígueme”.
Y él se levantó y siguió a Jesús.
Mientras él estaba en la mesa en su casa,
muchos publicanos y pecadores se sentaron con Jesús y sus discípulos;
porque había muchos que lo seguían.
Algunos escribas que eran fariseos vieron que Jesús estaba comiendo con los pecadores
y los publicanos y le dijeron a sus discípulos,
“¿Por qué come con los publicanos y pecadores?”
Jesús escucho esto y les dijo,
“Los que están sanos no necesitan un médico, sino los enfermos.
No he venido a llamar a justos sino a pecadores”.
============================
Hay una pintura famosa de Caravaggio de la vocación de San Mateo, que se describe en este Evangelio. Es una de mis pinturas favoritas porque representa la sorpresa de Mateo a ser llamado por Jesús. Los publicanos no fueron vistos con gran aprecio ya que a menudo engañaban a sus propios compañeros israelitas por dinero para el Imperio Romano. Pero Jesús no sólo nos ve como pecadores, pero Él ve como santos potenciales. Ese es Su deseo – amarnos, sanarnos y salvarnos.

Los escribas y fariseos indignados no podían creer que Jesús estaba comiendo con tales pecadores, pero Jesús revela Su misión respondiendo. “Los que están sanos no necesitan un médico, sino los enfermos. No he venido a llamar a justos sino a pecadores”.

Debemos permitir que estas palabras nos laven hoy mientras pensamos en las personas que nos rodean. A veces juzgamos a la gente en la iglesia, pensando, “No puedo creer que esa persona esté aquí” o “¿Cómo puede esa persona recibir la Comunión?” Otras personas se mantienen alejados de la iglesia porque dicen que está llena de hipócritas.

Bueno mis amigos, es por eso que necesitamos una iglesia. La Iglesia es como un hospital espiritual para pecadores, incluyendo incluso a los líderes de la Iglesia. Todos somos pecadores y estamos en necesidad de la gracia y la misericordia de Dios. Jesús llamó a Mateo, no porque él ya era un santo. Jesús llamó a Mateo porque Él vio que este pecador podría ser un santo. Jesús ve lo mismo en mí y en ti. Aunque somos pecadores, Jesús nos llama, “Sígueme”.

El maligno quiere que pensemos que no somos dignos del amor y la misericordia de Dios. El maligno también quiere que juzguemos a nuestro prójimo y destrozarnos uno al otro. Jesús vino para que pudiéramos ser uno. Jesús vino a amar, a sanar, a rescatar, a salvar, y a llamar a los pecadores a ser santos.

¿Reconozco que soy un pecador en necesidad de la misericordia de Dios?
¿Juzgo a otros duramente para que yo pueda sentirme mejor conmigo mismo?
¿He respondido a mi llamado al discipulado de Jesús?
¿Creo que con la gracia de Dios puedo ser un santo?

¡Jesús te está llamando a ti y a mí, aunque somos pecadores, para ser santos en el 2016!
Padre Burke


Responses

  1. Thank you for your posts and for your following of Jesus when He called you.

    Sent from my iPad

    >


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