Mass Readings: 1 Samuel 9:1-4,17-19;10:1a/Mark 2:13-17

Welcome Sinners

Last year I was privileged to attend a wonderful memorial service at a great Catholic parish that had a huge banner outside the church that read “Welcome Sinners.” When I saw that I wished every parish featured the same public greeting — and it meant what the banner said. (This church did.)

Today’s Gospel features Jesus’ call of a tax collector to follow Him. Jews considered tax collectors collaborators with the hated Romans (the taxes went to Rome) who also inflated taxes for personal gain. Would any of them have said welcome to this sinner? I follow a radical and difficult Leader whose passion for sinners exceeds mine. I’m convicted of my own self-righteousness. I need to be forgiven.

Prayer: Jesus, forgive me. Fill me with Your forgiveness and Your unconditional love for all.