First Reading: Heb 4:12-16; Psalm: 19 R. v. Jn 6:63c; Gospel: Mk 2:13-17
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners.” (Mk 2:16).
We can sometimes think ourselves so good that we feel we do not need people around us. This feeling of self sufficiency is also lived even in our relationship with God. When we feel holy enough not to acknowledge our shortcomings. Those who think of themselves so good do not need any help. God is not interested in such people. God came for those who acknowledge their shortcomings and seek divine healing. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous but sinners.”
The sins of the Pharisees were not just their self-proclaimed righteousness. They also avoided tax collectors and those they considered sinners as though they were lepers. This seclusion was so profound that they even felt so uncomfortable to see other people relating with the tax collectors. They questioned the integrity of Jesus by asking his disciples why their master should eat with tax collectors and sinners. If only these men gave introspection a chance, they would discover a lot of themselves in those they detest.
We can save the precious time we spend judging and interrogating the inner lives of people to examine our own lives instead. We may pretend and deceive people regarding who we truly are. But we cannot do that to God who alone discerns the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. No one is really better off in all aspects of life. Our weaknesses may be the strengths of others. The truth is that, if we observed well, we would definitely see some part of ourselves in those we judge or condemn. This is why we shouldn’t judge people but acknowledge our shortcomings and rely solely on God’s mercy and pardon.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, save us from the sin of self-righteousness. Amen.