Let my heart rejoice and be glad
in this time of prayer.
Remind me often of the great
blessings You have bestowed on me.
Daily Prayer - 2013-01-19
Let my heart rejoice and be glad
Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
from any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your loving eyes.
Conscious of your presence, Lord,
I look over my recent past.
Let me be honest with myself about how I’ve been
And what I’ve done,
Because I know you love truth in the heart
And accept me just as I am.
Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples--for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard this, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- Jesus calls Levi rather abruptly (right in the middle of his work), and Levi responds with alacrity. Indeed, so elated is Levi that he throws a dinner party in his home for Jesus and his disciples. He also invites some of his own friends. So far, so good. The trouble is that Levi is a collector of taxes and tolls, and his friends are fellow-tax/toll collectors and other “sinners”. All such people are despised and marginalised within Jewish society, both on social and religious grounds. What is Jesus doing in their company? The scribes disapprove strongly of what they see, and they express their displeasure to Jesus’ disciples.
- This whole story leads up to the arresting statement with which today’s gospel ends. Jesus has come, “not to call the righteous but sinners”. Far from being a situation to be avoided, the company of “sinners” is precisely what Jesus needs to seek out. They are the most in need of his healing. This teaching applies today to the Church, to our parishes, workplaces and homes. How inclusive is our attitude to others? Would we have felt comfortable at Levi’s dinner party?
Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.
I picture the gentleness in His eyes
and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.
I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.
I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.
I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care,
to abandon myself to Him,
knowing that He always wants what is best for me.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.
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