Lord, in your strength the king is glad. — Psalm 21:2
Mass Readings: 1 Samuel 9:1-4,17-19;10:1 / Mark 2:13-17
First Care, Then Share
An adage teaches “No one cares how much we know until he knows how much we care.” In Jewish society, dining with someone (“Table Fellowship”) was not just about food, but a sign of acceptance and friendship. The Pharisees, with their heavy emphasis on ritual purity, shrank from dining with “sinners.” But Jesus had no such qualms. In today’s Gospel, Jesus insists that it was for sinners that He had come.
As Jesus sat among “sinners” in this friendly fashion, He was able to talk to them about God, love, grace, sin, and repentance. And many believed. One such person was Levi the tax-collector, who, in the accepting the fertile soil of Jesus’ friendship and forgiveness, blossomed into Matthew — apostle and evangelist! Is my friendship the kind of soil in which another’s faith may blossom?
Prayer: Friend-of-Sinners, help me to be a true friend, who cares deeply and shares meaningfully.