Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Reading 1 IS 58:9B-14
Gospel LK 5:27-32
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus said to them in reply, "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners."
There is a tendency to look at others, to seek a flaw in them in order to feel better about ourselves, superior even.
Pharisees and scribes: they are nearly always mentioned in ominous tones. Clearly not friends with Jesus. Their piety is marked by a showy pretentiousness and a marked observance to the letter of the law but alas, not to the spirit of the law. The heart is not aligned at all.
God sees only sinners; there is no differentiation. "I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners."
Jesus was extending the invitation to them as well, after all who can be 'righteous' before God? They missed it, blinded by their self-delusion.
This Lent let us try to look with the eyes of Jesus as he hung on the cross. Believers weeping, leaders cursing and oppressing soldiers mocking. No differentiation: all sinners, and he died for ALL, including you and me.
This deacon is humbled by this vivid image of Jesus on the cross looking at me. I need to put the Pharisee in me to rest as I continue this Lenten journey. Lord have mercy. Peace.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.