Prayer of the Day
Feast of St. John of God & St. SenanMarch 8th, 2014
Tax collectors were notoriously unscrupulous in their collection of taxes. As a result they were despised by everyone and no respectable person would speak to them. It must have come as a great surprise to Levi (Matthew) when Jesus, who was reputed to be a holy man, came up and actually spoke to him. Jesus saw beyond the sinful state that Levi was in and invited him to repentance with the words “follow me.” Levi’s response was immediate. We are told that “leaving everything he got up and followed him.” The religious leaders were scandalised because Jesus accepted an invitation to dine with Levi and his tax-collector friends. They had formed their own ideas about what God wanted them to be like and they were earnestly striving for self-perfection. They refused to see that they needed Jesus just as much as the tax-collector because there is ‘salvation in no one else but Jesus’ (Acts 4:12). Jesus disturbed their complacency. Whether we identify ourselves with Levi or with the Pharisees in this episode all of us need Jesus to heal us of our hardness of heart, our blindness and the leprosy of our sins. Without Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:5).