The Lord’s Invitation
Hebrews 4:12-16; Psalms 19:8-15; Mark 2:13-17
The Lord’s ways are perfect and all good. Although God sees every aspect of us, even the sins and thoughts that we hide, He is also a compassionate god who went through the same trials as we did in the form of Jesus, although He lived His whole human life without sin. God’s words are perfect and more precious than the purest gold. They are able to provide us comfort at times when we cannot bear the pain, and wisdom at times when we are in need of it. They bring out the goodness in us, for God is a merciful, and yet, a just God, who relentlessly loves us despite how sinful we are.
Tax collectors were despised by the Jews because they acquired a reputation for being greedy, for they ask for more than what is required for Roman tax collections, and were insensitive to the taxpaying Jews. Jesus invited a tax collector to join him, and even ate with him at his house.When the scribes of the Pharisees saw Jesus eating and mingling with the tax collectors, they asked His disciples about this, and Jesus overheard it. Jesus replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” He’s teaching us that He is here to help us and save us from a life of sin. This invitation of Jesus for us follow him and allow him to help us and heal us is extended all the way to us through His ultimate sacrifice.
So how do we follow Jesus? Does it mean attending Sunday services, Sunday masses and the like? Some will say, “We are already following Jesus because we are good and religious people.” They are both correct, but following Jesus entails more than both.
Repenting our sins, starting a new life with Him, sharing His goodness with others. and developing a personal relationship with the Lord through daily prayers and bible readings. It means going that extra mile to know Jesus more, and to be Jesus to others. Jesus didn’t promise a smooth road ahead of us if we follow Him. There will be trials and tribulations, but in the end we will receive the Lord’s overflowing abundance of graces and blessings.
Levi, the tax collector, followed Jesus when he was told to, without asking any questions. How will we respond to His invitations? As Christians how will we respond to this invitation? If we receive signs from the Lord that we are being groomed for a mission or task, or if we are being led in a different direction in life, will we readily take up the challenge and follow it blindly, or will we be hesitant and ask God questions, or wait for the perfect timing?