Readings: Isaiah 58:9-14, Ps. 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32 

“The Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Luke 5:30-31)

It is easier to notice the speck in my neighbors’ eyes than the logs in mine. It is easier to preach to others than to examine our conscience. It is easier to point fingers at those in the government than to be a good leader. Some of us who rain insults on our leaders cannot even manage a social media group. You may be very good at diagnosing others but if you never go for a check-up, you might be dying gradually without knowing it.

As Isaiah tells us in our first reading today, one of the sins that God hates is the pointing of fingers at others. To put it simply, if we have the habit of gossiping about others, and running them down (character assassination), meanwhile, we are guilty of the same sins, and we prevent our prayers from being heard by God.

In the book of Revelation, the devil is described as the “accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10). We behave like the devil when we point fingers at others without first washing ourselves. We behave like the devil when all we care about is looking good on the outside while remaining rotten on the inside. Watch out when you begin to point fingers at everyone, you may be unconsciously fighting something within yourself.

There are two kinds of sinners; those who admit they are sinners and are willing to repent and those who believe they are perfect. Jesus gave the parable of a physician with reference to the second group. Unlike the Pharisees, Levi admitted his faults; he knew he needed a physician. While the Pharisees were busy running their mouths, Levi and his friends were having a foretaste of heaven; enjoying a banquet with Jesus Christ.

Later on, Jesus would say: “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31-32). Rather than exert your energy on pointing fingers at others, use it to develop yourself. Become the change you would like to see in others. Don’t stop at verbally condemning evil, let your actions also do the talking for you. You can’t fight the darkness, just shine a light.

Instead of pointing fingers, behave like Jesus, make friends with the person; show love to them; eat with them, and as the prophet Isaiah says: “pour ourselves out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted that our light my rise in the darkness.” (Isaiah 58:10). There a power in sharing meals with others. Meal times are moments of bonding, great conversations are held at mealtime, hearts are touched and lives are changed.

Develop the habit of family meal times. Make it compulsory. Social media (smartphones) has made us forget how to be families. Everyone is glued to their phones and no one has time for another anymore. Jesus used meals to convert the worst sinners, you can use mealtime too to instruct the wayward and bring back the lost. 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, may I wholly follow you leaving sin behind. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday after Ash Wednesday. Bible Study: Isaiah 58:9-14, Ps. 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu