Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
Levi’s call, the scandalous call of a publican, is celebrated in his house with a banquet. There, Jesus eats and drinks with sinners. Obviously, this ruffles some feathers. Those who want nothing to do with these people, those who would never dream of sitting at table with those who evidently do not abide by God’s teachings, cannot but be offended.
But God is not impressed by our sins; instead, He steps off of the path, picks us up, and brings us back on track. True love does not just point to the truth – it puts itself on the line so that truth becomes an experience. Jesus did not come just to say true words, but to make sure that we can live according to the truth – especially those who for whichever reason have been convinced otherwise.
That is why He responds thus to those who accuse Him,
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
It is striking how Jesus continually reiterates this. It almost seems like the scribes and Pharisees are convinced that God cares more about the Law than about people. But God loves people so much that he knows how to make exceptions in the Law. God is willing to do anything for each of us. This is the gratitude that lives in the hearts of those who have discovered the Love that Jesus came to proclaim. Unless we feel this love, we could never truly change our lives.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.