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Homily (Reflection) for Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time (I) (14th January, 2017) on the Gospel

Heb 4:12-16;
Ps 18:8-10.15 (R. cf. Jn 6:63);
Mk 2:13-17.
Topic: Yes, you too can.
In today’s gospel Levi son of Alphaeus was called by Jesus while he was sitting at the tax booth. His call ushered in a dinner in which Jesus and His disciples ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners. The sight of this made the scribes question.
Just imagine a pastor (priest) dinning and wining with harlots, swindlers, among other notorious people in the society. Certainly, it will scandalize many. Yet these (harlots, swindlers among others) always have the chance of repenting. However in the Jewish culture, tax collectors are not just among the worst sinners but do not even have the chance of repenting. Based on this, imagine how the scribes viewed Jesus dinning and wining in Levi’s house among sinners and tax collectors.
Although according to the Jewish belief Levi (a tax collector, cf. Lk 18:11) cannot repent but Jesus called him to follow Him just as He called Peter, Andrew, James, and John who were fishermen, cf. Mk 1:16-20.
Many think they would have been wonderful people for God if they had known earlier. These see themselves as objects of scorn to both God and humans.
Irrespective of your mistakes you still have equal opportunity with everybody before God. And God is calling you today just as Levi was called. If only you will follow Him today, you will be admired by all. Yes, you too can make it. Just respond positively to God’s call today. He is already at your door knocking to dine and wine with you, cf. Rev. 3:20.
And to specialists in criticism, Jesus is saying to you: “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners” (Mk 2:17b). Encourage everyone to come back to God and stop scattering them with criticisms.
Bible Reading: Is 1:2-20.
Thought for today: God is calling you to follow Him.
Let us pray: Lord, help us in our weakness as we struggle towards you – Amen.

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