Saturday after Ash Wednesday, March 04, 2017.
1st Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14
Thus says the LORD: If you remove from your midst oppression,false accusation and malicious speech;If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; Then the LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; “Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you, “Restorer of ruined homesteads.” If you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; If you call the sabbath a delight, and the LORD’s holy day honorable; If you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice. Then you shall delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. The word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R/. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Gospel: Luke 5:27-32
Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. 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.” The gospel of the Lord.
What would a doctor do without patients? What if no one were sick? The poor doctor would be out of business. Therefore, in a sense, it’s fair to say that a doctor needs the sick in order to fulfill his role. The same could be said of Jesus. He is the Savior of the World. But what if there were no sinners? Then Jesus’ death would have been in vain and His mercy would not be necessary. Therefore, in a sense, we can conclude that Jesus, as the Savior of the World, needs sinners. He needs those who have turned away from Him, violated the Divine Law, violated their own dignity, violated the dignity of others and acted in a selfish and sinful way. Jesus needs sinners. Why? Because Jesus is the Savior, and a Savior needs to save. A Savior needs those who need to be saved in order to save! Got that?
This is important to understand because, when we do, we will suddenly realize that coming to Jesus, with the filth of our sin, brings great joy to His Heart. It brings joy because He is able to fulfill the mission given Him by the Father, exercising His mercy as the one and only Savior. Allow Jesus to fulfill His mission! Let Him offer mercy to us! We do this by admitting our need for mercy. We do this by coming to Him in a vulnerable and sinful state, unworthy of mercy and worthy only of eternal damnation. Coming to Jesus in this way allows Him to fulfill the mission given Him by the Father. It allows Him to manifest, in a concrete way, His Heart of abundant mercy. Jesus “needs” us to fulfill His mission. Give Him this gift and let Him be our merciful Savior.
Pray with me: Dear Savior and Divine Physician, I thank You for coming to save and heal. I thank You for Your burning desire to manifest Your mercy in my life. Please humble me so that I may be open to Your healing touch and, through this gift of salvation, I allow You to manifest Your Divine Mercy. Jesus, I trust in You that You alone will heal our sick brethren and set them free. May the souls of our faithful departed brethren rest in perfect peace, amen. Have a blessed and fulfilled weekend.
Sourced by Wiezman Eleanya