It is not the well who need a physician.

In todays Gospel reading we find Christ is having dinner and visiting with sinners and the tax collectors.  Many of the Pharisees who were there ask him why he would eat with sinners and tax collectors ?… He replied simply that it is not the well who need the physician but the sick.

The Pharisees sort of get a bad reputation in the biblical readings.  They were basically a bunch of people who had been raised to think that following ” the law” was how you were supposed to live a good life.   There were so many laws that you needed to be a scholar to figure them all out and then their application as well.     Ran against their grain.. He had new and radical ideas.  Things they were not taught before.

The tax collectors.. and sinners.. people who were outsiders.   People who were outside of the community of believers.   In the early church when someone sinned there was a whole process that was long and involved about going to the bishop, confessing your sins, doing penance, and you might be outside the community of your believing family for months or up to a year before you were accepted back in again.   So the view point of forgiveness was not a quick thing to be obtained !

We are sinners.  All of us.  We sin, we ask for forgiveness, we struggle, and we get up and try again.  Throughout it all God loves us in spite of our human failings.   Just as he did sitting at the table with the Tax collectors.

At the same time we are daily given the opportunity to be Christ to others.  To forgive others their trespasses  when they hurt us.  To help bare their load and give them the sense of being loved.    To give solace when things do not go as we planned.  To love is our highest calling.  Each day we can be Christ to our brothers and sisters, at work, at home, and in public.

All in all, we need to be each of the players in this scene.  We need to have rules to know what is expected of us, we need order in our lives.    We also need to be aware of our short comings.  To know that we fell short of the line.  It keeps us human, humble, and able to be empathetic and sympathetic to our brothers and sisters who fall.    Mostly, we need to be Christ to those we meet.   To bring compassion, forgiveness, and love.

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