I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Reflection for January 17, Saturday Saint Anthony, Abbot; Mark 2:13-17

Gospel: Mark 2:13-17
Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me. And he got up and followed Jesus. While 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. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples,  “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners? Jesus heard this and said to them “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
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Are you quick to judge or even condemn those who sin? For example you judge somebody as sinner because of his/her sinful lifestyle. But the moment we judge we also begin to distance ourselves from the people that we judge or condemn. And by so doing we deprive ourselves of the opportunity communicate with this person and the chance to convert this person.

Those who sin are not permanent sinners there comes a certain point in their lives that they want to change. This change is facilitated when somebody dares not to judge them for the things that they’ve done.

Jesus in our gospel reading dared not to judge Levi a tax collector and labeled as a sinner by those who knew him. What did Jesus do? Instead of judging or even condemning Levi; He went to Levi talked with him and told Levi to come and follow Him. And immediately Levi left whatever that he was doing and followed Jesus.

What if Jesus condemned Levi as sinner and told Levi that that he deserves to be roasted in hell? There would have been no conversion and healing on the part of Levi. These acts of mercy, compassion and forgiveness should serve as a lesson for all of us.

If we want conversion from sinners we should not condemn them for who are we to judge when we are also sinners like them. We should instead give them compassion, forgiveness and mercy so that we could convert them to have a change of lifestyle and eventually follow Jesus.

Are you quick to judge those who sin? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

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