READINGS for 2007-07-06
"Those who are well do not need a physician but the sick do.” – Matthew 9:12
May I live in Truth O God that I may truly live. Amen.
Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
G O S P E L
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Sirach 23-25
MATTHEW’S “FAREWELL PARTY” AND HIS GUESTSWas the dinner thrown by Matthew perhaps some sort of a despedida for his old profession, now that the Lord has called him to a new life of discipleship? The ex-tax collector’s main guests were those of his old profession, as well as those known as sinners. Was Matthew perhaps sending them a message that they were never outside Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness, and consequently they were never beyond repentance and conversion?
Sinners are indeed never too far beyond the reach of the Good News of Salvation. Even the attacker of St. Maria Goretti (the teenage martyr of purity whom we commemorate and honor today) was never distant from God’s saving grace: serving his jail sentence, Alessandro Serenelli repented of his heinous sin and was converted. He even begged forgiveness from the mother of Maria. In the first place, as Maria was dying from the stab wounds inflicted on her, she in fact whispered words of forgiveness for Alessandro.
When indeed love and forgiveness prevail, then there is no room for hatred and sin. And it is consoling that it’s precisely the “sick” people who are definitely in the market for God’s offer of healing, forgiveness and salvation — not the self-righteous who think they can already do everything for themselves.
Catholic philosopher-writer Peter Kreeft puts it nicely in his book— Making Choices: “The church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners. To publicly profess to the world that you are a Christian, by going to church every Sunday, is not to say to the world that you are better than they are but that you are desperately ill.” And so, let’s bring on the “party” of the Eucharistic celebration! Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you allow love and forgiveness to prevail?
I am still a sinner, Lord, constantly in need of Your forgiveness.
St. Maria Goretti, virgin and martyr, pray for us.
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