Saturday after Ash Wednesday : 25th February 2023

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  • Saturday after Ash Wednesday : 25th February 2023

Lord, help me to genuinely care and love others

Saturday after Ash Wednesday : 25th February 2023

Is. 58:9-14; Ps. 85:1-6
Lk. 5:27-32 (Ps. Wk. IV)

The Book of Isaiah describes the prophet speaking out against the observance of rituals on the Sabbath without any due consideration for matters related to mercy and justice.

According to the prophet, rituals only have value when they express a caring and just society. Ritual is not good in itself but freeing the oppressed, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked is. In other words, mere religious observance without mercy and justice is inadequate in God’s eyes.

Jesus Himself is an example of what it means to show mercy and justice to others. In joining sinners at the fellowship table, He demonstrates solidarity with them. And sinners, in joining Jesus at the table, show solidarity with Him. The Pharisees and scribes object to Jesus and His disciples joining those they consider sinners at the table. In this way, they tried to maintain the division between “the righteous and sinners”.

Jesus responds to them, “not those who are well who need a doctor, but the sick.” This shows that He is the one who calls sinners to repentance, and the meal is the social context where healing and reconciliation can take place. Within this context, the call of Levi, a tax collector, emphasises one of the most important aspects of the Christian meal, namely that it is a reconciling call to repentant discipleship. What Jesus had done in His life, the disciple has to do in his or hers.

Lord, help me genuinely care and love others.

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