If we pray with imagination, we can place ourselves in this Gospel passage where quite a scene is unfolding. After Jesus sees Matthew at his post collecting taxes and invites Matthew to follow him, fellow tax collectors soon follow suit and pour into the house where Jesus is sitting with his disciples. Sitting at table with “sinners” makes Jesus ritually impure and guilty by association in the judgment of some observers.
So where are we if we place ourselves in this scene? Are we the tax collectors, who know their brokenness and seek to heal it by drawing close to Jesus? Are we the Pharisees, whose rigidity predetermines who belongs and who does not? Are we Jesus, looking into the hopeful, yearning faces of those who have been judged unworthy and opening up the table in welcome and spaciousness of heart?
Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.
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