And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’ (Matthew 9:10-17 NRSV).
There is a lot to contemplate from this Gospel Reading.
I cannot deny it, I love to eat. It is my #1 worst weakness. I am part Italian, which means my relatives never cooked and served a meal without plenty of left overs. I have not done too well in not following their inspiration.
While those who were judging Jesus for eating with the tax collectors and sinners, Jesus’ concern is those He is eating with. Jesus showed up to eat with them, so that they could see themselves from God’s point of view. God’s perspective is unconditional love, mercy and grace that are never too far away those whom God loves. That means all of us.
If we could only spend some time in contemplation of how God is so madly in love with us, that God wants to live in a deep loving relationship with us. Then we would know in our hearts and lives the infinite love of the Holy Trinity; God’s relationship with all of us in a community of condescending love.
Can Jesus spend some time eating with you today?
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB