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Daily Prayer - 2013-01-19

Presence

Lord, you are always there
waiting for me. 
May I never be too busy to
find time to spend in your presence.

Freedom

Lord I ask for the grace to know
That doing your will is a joy
Because your will is my deepest desire
And you are always willing what is best for me.

Consciousness

How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted?
I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.
Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.
I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.

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

God’s Word is always fruitful.
How is it touching me now
As I reflect on what I have just prayed?
Do I feel comforted?
Do I feel challenged?

Conclusion

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.

Amen

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