HOMILY OF FRIDAY IN THE 13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
Genesis 23:1-4,19,24:1-8,62-67, Matthew 9:9-13
THEME: OPENNESS TO ALL
Identifying oneself with sinners is distinct from merely staying in their company. Ultimately, we cannot successfully convert those whom we have chosen to distance ourselves from. If we do not understand Jesus’ lifestyle, we may take to mingling too much with bad friends and run the risk of losing our good manners.
In today’s gospel, “While he was at dinner in the house it happened that several tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus’ response to them settled their confusions. He came for the sick and not the healthy, and demands mercy not sacrifice.
Some of the people we give bad names today may have the inner urge to share in our lives, but because of the tag we put on them, they find it difficult to approach us, because they don’t know what the outcome would be. Our heart must be open to those who long for our company.
Jesus must have seen the desires in Matthew’s heart, that was why he simply called him with a wave of hand, using him as a point of contact to other tax collectors, who would later accept salvation.
May we open our hearts to be vessels through which God can bring back more of his lost children. Amen.