Prayer: O Jesus, call me into your Kingdom because I am a sinner.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus at table with Levi and his friends.)
Having heard Jesus call him, Levi calls others. When they sit at table, some religious people complain. This allows Jesus to announce that he is a physician who ministers to sinners. Jesus shatters the social conventions that have banished sinners from the community.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
As Jesus passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alpheus, sitting at his tax collector’s post. He said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him.
When he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
Seeing that he ate with tax collectors and sinners, the scribes who were Pharisees asked his disciples, “Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus overheard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a doctor, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the just, but sinners.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Exteriorly, Levi performed a task despised by the Jews. Interiorly, his heart was open to Jesus’ invitation.
- Levi is a “fisher of men”, quickly gathering his friends to hear Jesus.
- Jesus enjoys the company of tax collectors and sinners. They are written on his heart.
- This shatters the usual procedures. Jesus’ enemies see only the exterior and never understand his heart.
- The final sentence contains Mark’s real purpose in telling this story. Jesus’ mission is to sinners. He wants to bring them into his Kingdom.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, call me. I will leave everything to follow you.
- I will be your evangelist and bring others to you.
- O Jesus, You are welcome in my house and at my table.
- You can touch the heart of anyone, good or bad.
- You do not judge by appearances. You see my heart. You know me inside and out.
- You are the physician. I am the sick person. You have come to earth for me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- At every moment, in every situation, I will listen for Jesus’ voice.
- I will accept my own sinfulness, knowing that Jesus has come for me.
Thought: (Recall this text during the day)
Only the sick need the doctor.