Today’s Thoughts: Whenever I hear or read today’s Gospel (Matt. 9:9-13) I think of all those times when people, often times leaders, especially religious leaders, refuse to attend something, a graduation, dinner, fundraising event or some other gathering because a certain person is going to be there or be honored. Often the objection centers on an issue like abortion, contraception or some other political/faith issue. I am sure those who protest the presence of this person have good reasons; reasons often intensified by some others who believe it would bring scandal to attend.
Yet, Jesus often sat, talked, ate and was found in the company of public sinners and people at odds with the faith community. Situations that the religious leaders of his time thought were bringing scandal. Jesus’ statement to the Pharisees today seems to indicate that these are the very people he came to encounter and help. Why is that not the same today? Why are we not willing to be present to people who need help today? Do we not trust God’s presence? Do we not trust that people can change? Do we think that people cannot be affected by what we bring to a moment though faith? Must people always believe first before we are willing to talk to them or be in their presence? Do we really not value our own witness of faith?
Jesus did not convert every person he met. He did not change the attitudes, the opinions or the actions of every person he encountered. Jesus simply was willing to listen, to share, to be present to and to treat all people as God’s children. He was willing to break bread, to share a meal and hope that through the encounter a person’s heart might change.
I realize that none of us are Jesus, however if we are his disciples so let us humbly follow in his footsteps and trust in our faith, in our witness to the Gospel?
Have a great Friday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...