Prayer: O Jesus, call me into your Kingdom because I am a sinner.
Imagination: Picture Jesus at table with Levi and his friends.
When these scribes and Pharisees complain about Jesus’ table companions, Jesus announces that he is a physician whose ministry is to sinners. Jesus’ Kingdom changes social relationships and shatters the social conventions that kept sinners at a distance.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus saw a tax collector names Levi, sitting at his custom’s post. He said, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him. After that, Levi gave a great reception for Jesus in his house. Many tax collectors and others joined him at dinner. The scribes and Pharisees asked his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said, “Those who are healthy do not need a doctor, but those who are sick do. I have not come to invite the righteous to a change of heart, but sinners.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Levi performed a task which the Jews despised. However, his heart was open to Jesus’ invitation.
- Levi is a good evangelist, gathering his friends to meet Jesus.
- Jesus is quite at home with tax collectors and sinners. They are written on his heart.
- Eating with them shatters the usual procedures. Unfortunately, the scribes and Pharisees do not understand.
- Jesus must define his identity. He is a doctor.
- Logically, he spends time with the sick.
- His mission is to the sinners.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, I will open my heart and be open to your call.
- I will be your evangelist, bringing others to you.
- O Jesus, I am a sinner. You are welcome at my table.
- O Jesus, You do not judge by appearances. You see my heart.
- You are the physician. I am the sick person. You have come for me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- In every situation, I will listen for Jesus’ call.
- I will accept my own sinfulness and my need for Jesus’ forgiveness.
Thought: (To recall your meditation)
Only the sick need the doctor. I have come to call sinners.