The good news for the day March 4, 2017

Saturday after Ash Wednesday (222)

Jesus saw a wealthy financier—a collector of taxes—whose name was Levi sitting at the desk of his open office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he just got up and followed Jesus. Then Levi hosted a noteworthy banquet for Jesus in his house; a large number of fellow rich tax collectors and others joined them at the meal. Religious leaders—Pharisees—and educated people with them—complained to his followers, “Why do you folks eat and drink with notorious, rich tax collectors and people known to be sinners?” Jesus was the One to answer that: “People who are well do not need a doctor; sick ones do. I have not come to call people to repentance who are ‘all right’ (righteous) but ones gone astray.” (Luke 5)

In other places, Jesus does condemn wealthy people—“Woe to you who are rich! You have got your reward!” But, in the end, being wealthy or poor is irrelevant to the message of Jesus—irrelevant to what you are called to.

Whether you are rich or poor is just not as important as to whether you acknowledge that you are not superior, not a “righteous” person looking down on others—free of any need of repentance. Your ego is humbled at your own faults, the awe you feel for The Creator, and the sense that we are all sinners, all “unprofitable servants,” as Jesus puts it elsewhere.

It is Good News—you have discovered your interdependence with everyone else, you admit your need to change, and you have erred and gone astray—like everyone else—with pride, with a lack of courage, with “unknown sins” which the Psalms mention.  Like Levi, though, you follow Jesus daily, free of greed and ambition—no, actually struggling to free yourself from greed, ambition and your unique, hidden entanglements and failures.

How Good is the Good God! He loves you and me…not because we are righteous, but because—just because.


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