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January 13, 2018 Featured

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dglogoGospel: Mk 2:13-17
      When Jesus went out again, beside the lake, a crowd came to him, and he taught them. As he walked along, he saw a tax collector sitting in his office. This was Levi, the son of Alpheus. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” And Levi got up and followed him. And it so happened that, when Jesus was eating in Levi’s house, tax collectors and sinners sat with him and his disciples; there were a lot of them, and they used to follow Jesus. But Pharisees, men educated in the law, when they saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does your master eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard them, and answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

        This is such a consoling statement of Jesus. It shows God’s infinite compassion on the weak. Sometimes holiness is identified with perfection — as if we can, by our own strength, attain sanctity. This view of holiness also encourages perfectionism which does not lead to holiness but to self-righteousness. Have you ever lived with perfectionist self-righteous people? My goodness, they correct every one as if they were a universal novice mistress. They are also very judgmental and condemnatory. It is as if they have the monopoly of the truth. When I was Prioress, I used to go on visitation and one day while on such a visit, an elderly Sister came to me and said ”Mother, I think my community does not like me.” “Why do you say that?” I asked.“ Because just now when I went to the refectory, they all went out. “Why, what did you do?” She said “ Well when I came in they were all talking so I told them: Ssssshh!” “Well no wonder, they left the room”. I said. She said self-righteously, “But am I not right? We are not supposed to be talking in the refectory. It is a place of silence.!” I said: “Yes, Sister, you are right. In fact you are almost always right. And that is what is wrong with you!” God of Compassion, help us also to be compassionate to our neighbors.


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