5th November 2020

Thursday, Thirty First Week in Ordinary Time
Phil 3:3-8; Ps 105:2-7; Lk 15:1-10


The tax collectors and sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus. In the present world situation when Christianity and its morals seem to be losing their significance, this statement brings hope. If Jesus was relevant then to the dregs of society, so can he be relevant now; if he could attract the publicly declared sinners then, so can he attract the shamelessly immoral now – because the same Jesus then, is alive now and works in and through us who believe.

However unrealistic this may sound, hope for a Christian is beyond practical reason; it is faith-based. However, anyone who wishes to see this hope turn into a reality before their eyes, must journey through an attitudinal change – away from the attitude of the Pharisees and the scribes in today’s gospel, towards the attitude of Jesus. What was the attitude of the Pharisees and the scribes? A juridical attitude; he who does not live according to what is right, neither deserves to share in the blessings of the righteous nor their company; he who is covered in filth deserves to remain in filth; he is not worthy to know what it means to be clean that he may be inspired, even a little, to desire it. It is an attitude of rejection – of ‘staying away from’, of ‘not mixing with’, those who seemingly choose not to be as ‘holy’ or ‘devout’ or ‘principled’ as we are.

These tax collectors and sinners were far from humble rejects of society. They were probably drunkards, vulgar in their talk, immoral in their actions, uncouth in their behaviour and disrespectful towards others. But Jesus likens them to lost sheep or lost coins that bring joy to their owners when found. Jesus’ attitude towards them is one of reaching out; of lighting a candle of goodness, so that the choice of coming into the light is always before those in the darkness. We too, who have the light are called to shine it so that it bring more people to experience the ‘ the light of the world.’

Responsorial Psalm: Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
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