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Daily Prayer - 2017-01-14

Presence

Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.

Freedom

Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate my desires
in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.

Consciousness

Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life?
By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.
If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God

Mark 2:13-17

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

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  • 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

Remembering that I am still in God's presence,
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,
and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,
speaking as one friend to another.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.