Gospel : Luke 15 : 1 – 32
Tax collectors and sinners were all coming to Jesus
You had said : I did not come for the righteous, but for sinners. You illustrate this by Your attitude of mercy, by Your welcome for all. The Father sent You to reveal His Fatherly love to all. You do not demand a certificate of good conduct from those who come to You. Your first prediction in the synagogue at Nazareth was clear (Lk.4:18): The Spirit of the Lord has sent Me to bring the Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives,….” These poor are those who lack love, who are captives of their moral misery. You come to free them, to give them the freedom of being children of God…. These poor, tax collectors and sinners, excluded from society, understood You;
They came to Jesus to listen to Him.
They are not coming as beggars, to ask for alms …. They come because they feel recognised, respected, loved…. they come to listen to You, to hear the Good News: God loves them and wants them near Him, with Him!
This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!
The “practicing” of those days are shocked by this …. but it is always the same! The explanations You give don’t go down well, they are unreasonable! Does a shepherd leave 99 sheep to go to look for just one …. and keep looking until he finds it? This doesn’t happen in real life! In the human field, yes, it is true, this would not be reasonable ….. But this particular Shepherd is You, Lord. Your love for everyone of us has gone “to the folly of the cross” (1Cor,1:18)! You tell us thus of the personal love of the Father for each one of His creatures.
It is this same love for each one which made You abide in the Eucharist and give Yourself as food, so that we may have life to the full (Jn.10:10). Lord Jesus, give us a poor heart, to listen to You and to share with You the joy of being children of God …. let us be messengers of the love of the Father for all people.