January 14, 2017 – Saturday in the 1st week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: Gregory Nazianzen (c. 325 – c. 390)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Hebrew 4:12-16    –    Psalm 19    –    Mark 2:13-17

“Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19)

 The Scriptures that are given to us today seem to still e following that theme of “the heart” as needing to be softened in order to follow Jesus unreservedly. That verse from Psalm 19 which is part of the responsorial psalm for today reminds me of Fr. Richard Rohr’s oft repeated saying, “Where your thoughts go in your idle moments … there is your treasure!”

 Oops! Caught again! But let us not forget the ending words of today’s Gospel, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

The scribes and Pharisees spent their entire lives dividing people into little groups of “haves” and “have nots:” – those who religiously followed all 613 laws of the Jewish tradition (along with all the conditions that they had added to them) and those who did not. There hearts were hardened and there was little room for God’s love of the poor and the sick to enter their lives. There focus was more on keeping out anyone who was not following the law rather than seeking out those most in need of God’s love and mercy.

In Jesus’ short, three-year public ministry He did just the opposite: He went out of His way to find those most in need of healing and forgiveness. Today we are once again reminded not to stand outside looking in at those gathered around the “table of the Lord” – in judgment – and forgetting those words of St. Augustine, “there, but for the grace of God, go I.”

Today, God is once again calling us to follow him. We have to get up from whatever we’re doing and be willing to trust that He will not abandon us but bring us into His banquet where we can be healed. Remember those words that we speak just before receiving Holy Communion: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the word and my soul will be healed.” Amen!

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