The Gospel Today
Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Alfredo Dimaano, Jr.)
Ring! Ring!! Ring!!! A week before my last working day at the company where I was previously employed, I received an unexpected call from the office of our CEO. His assistant scheduled me to a meeting with our CEO so I could formally bid goodbye to him. How can I say no to such an invitation! Since not everyone had the chance to be at his office, I felt privileged and thankful that I was given the chance although I am simply an ordinary employee.
Today’s Gospel speaks about the calling of Levi (who later on became St. Matthew), a tax collector despised by his townspeople for serving the Romans and thus considered a sinner.Though regarded as such, Jesus nonetheless called Him and even dined with him in his very home, together with other tax collectors and sinners to the dismay of the Pharisees and scribes. Like myself, Levi could might had been surprised to be called and invited by Jesus knowing how unworthy he is. But how can he say no when the one inviting him is not simply a person with position, but the Son of God?
Levi immediately followed, without hesitation. Based on my experience, that maybe is how God is: He calls even if we are still undeserving. One must just have an ear open to hear God’s call and a heart willing to respond quickly, even if there are still doubts and fears. Jesus came not only for people who are perfect in their ways, but also, more especially for people like me who are imperfect and sinful but persevering to improve oneself and trying to be faithful in my commitment to answer His call. After all, Jesus is a God who does not dwell on our past but one who restores us from our inadequacies.
Just like the Levi who was called in his post, Jesus calls us also in our own posts, in our “places of work” and invites us to follow Him. May we always and ready to leave our posts and without hesitation, say yes to His bidding. Like that humble CEO, He seeks and wishes to talk to us. Let’s not “drop” that call.