March 4, 2017
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
The Gospel Today
Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Gail P. Cruz)
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do”. There are various therapies we can take to alleviate illness or difficulties in our life. Spiritual practice is the most effective and long-term. It is also completely free.
Whenever I read the story about the tax collectors in the Gospel and in the Bible, it brings back memories from my high school life, the worst part of my life I think. Back then, people in our place especially our neighbors knew me for my kindness; they would always tell me that I was such a good boy, more so because I was serving at the mass as a member of the Knights of the Altar. In the middle of freshmen year in high school, I quit serving the Mass because I committed myself with my friends, my “barkada”. I would always be away from our house especially during weekends. I would even skip a lot of Sunday Masses because of our trips.
One Sunday, I attended the Mass alone and when I saw my former co-servants. I smiled at them and was about to mingle with them before the Mass started. When reached them, one of them tease me and told me, “Oh! Nagpakita kapa!” In my heart, I felt humiliated and was about to burst out of anger, but I truly felt bad because I was guilty. I left them and just went straight inside the Chapel and prayed. I remember my prayers during that time: I promised to God that from then on, no matter my schedule was, I will attend Sunday Mass. Since then, I developed my vocation to the priesthood through the healing power of Jesus in my life.
Jesus truly welcomes and accepts. I am thankful that I am one of His seminarians, not worthy but still called.