Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
Februrary 28 A.D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Jesus said to Levi, "Follow me."
Leaving everything behind, Levi followed Him. (see Luke 5:27-28)
A recent reflection said that "faith" is a blind yet firm belief in Jesus, God's divine Son who is the embodiment of His blessed Word. Today's first reading in Isaiah, written long before Christ's birth, tells us that faith should result in a person's morality reflecting the loving goodness of God.
Isaiah describes changes that should take place in a genuine believer's behavior toward his fellow humans: a sincere, loving respect for people and their rights; speaking the truth with kindness and compassion; being generous toward all, but especially toward the poor and the afflicted.
Today's gospel emphasizes that it is Christ, through His Spirit, who gives us the desire and ability to be reborn to live a sinless, holy life. Levi was open to the God-given grace to reform his life, to cease overcharging taxes and pocketing the surplus, as was often done by the collectors in those times.
Today's gospel reveals that in Christ's day the religious authorities were so obsessed with following the letter of the Law that they overlooked its very spirit of mercy, peace, justice and the fair treatment of all. Unlike the scribes and Pharisees who shut the door to God in sinners' faces, Jesus knew that antipathy toward sinners served only to further distance them from God.
Levi invited Jesus and numerous tax-collectors and other "sinners" to a banquet at his home in celebration of his decision to follow Christ. The scribes and Pharisees were scandalized that Jesus would associate with such people. Christ, on the other hand, simply accepted this as an opportunity to touch some minds and hearts, as He had Levi's, with God's loving forgiveness and promise of a new life.
O Redeemer God,
Help us during this Lenten Season to practice self denial. Shine the light of Your truth on our sin-darkened eyes; bring us the blessing of forgiveness.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
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Saturday, February 28, 2009
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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