Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them.
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.
Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus heard this and said to them (that), “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
From collecting money to collecting souls
1) He saw Levi: Jesus’ gaze is different than ours. Perhaps you have a calculating gaze when relating with people, and because of this you don’t give yourself completely to others; you are measuring them. You might have an elitist’s look, where you see people according to whether they fulfill a status or not. Another type of look is that of negotiation: you approach the person to see what advantage you have over them, and if they serve you for personal benefit. How do you look at people today? Jesus has a compassionate, simple, and straightforward look. He doesn’t look at anyone’s curriculum , He just looks at their heart. How are you looking at people around you?
2)Dining at his house: This new disciple takes him home, brings him into his private space. He can see everything about him, and by showing Jesus his intimacy he does not hide anything. He can see the dirty dishes; the mess in the dining room or bathroom, etc. When you meet Jesus, it implies exposure, and opening yourself up completely to Him. Don’t be ashamed to show yourself as you are. I think about those people who, due to life’s circumstances, had to make decisions and change their lifestyle to one that they didn’t expect. I think of priests who left the ministry and formed their own families… you have no idea of how hard it is for them to go back to mass, because they feel pain and shame. Or people who got divorced and formed a new way of life. These are things that one did not think of, but then they looked for Jesus. It is difficult for them to show their intimacy because it is painful. Many times they feel like they’re being watched by us… being judged, like having a guillotine ready for them. Jesus looks for the public sinner that is Levi, well known for his misdeeds. Won’t he be able to look for you?
3) Scribes: The look of the Scribes and Pharisees is different. They judge. They do not see what happens in the heart of the person who met Jesus, they only look at the external. Levi did not meet the requirements of a good Jew. They did not see what was growing within his heart. Levi was able to change because he met God. From a white gloves thief he went on to save souls, but they don’t see him that way because they had already socially condemned him. How often are we like this? We condemn those who are apostles of God’s mercy. How do you look at others?
And if you have been found and forgiven by Jesus, don’t be ashamed… Jesus wants to do something new with you and in you.
God-bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Remember heaven is our goal !!