Fr. Rick’s One Minute Homily for Saturday, 1st Week in Ordinary Time, January 14, 2023
Mark 2:13-17 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/011423.cfm
Condemned? Not Anymore.
What is the first thing you think of when someone tells you they have Covid? If you are with them, you back off and stay away until they test negative. The person with Covid isolates themselves until they test negative.
The positive test results are the evidence that convicts them from socializing with others. We all know that in a court of law, the prosecution must produce evidence that shows that a defendant has committed a crime. Based on overwhelming evidence, the jury convicts the one charged as guilty.
In the times of Jesus, the whole society was the court of law! They did not base their judgment on a single act or several acts but on a person’s lifestyle. Thus, in the Pharisees’ minds and hearts, the publicans and sinners were already condemned. They were dead as it were, and like lepers in yesterday’s Gospel, must be avoided at all costs.
Why? Because they didn’t want to be dead either through contamination or association with such people. It’s like these public sinners had Covid. Stay away. Jesus could care less about being contaminated, condemned, or dead to these experts. He knew that day would come during His Passion.
Jesus’ court was not about law or justice. It was a court of mercy. The law is superficial and considers only the acts. Mercy is total and pours into a person’s heart where the good they would like to do is set free.
Jesus called Levi, now named Matthew, because he could also extend God’s mercy to others. Matthew learned on the day Jesus called him from his sinful table that Jesus puts the person first before anything else.
Unlike Jesus, our human nature is ready to condemn a sinful act and the person committing it simultaneously. Let’s walk up to a Levi in our lives and get to know them. God’s mercy in us will forgive them and welcome them to accompany us as we follow Jesus. Pray to be the mercy of the Lord, and you will.
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC