Read Hebrews 4:12-16, Ps. 19:8-10,15, Mark 2:13-17

“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.” (Mark 2:17)

The letter to the Hebrews, in drawing our attention to the importance of God’s words, says: “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden…” (Hebrews 4:12-13).

I think it was St. Jerome who said: “Ignorance of the Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” You cannot claim to be born again if you are ignorant of the word of God. And if you have never taken time to read the bible by yourself, then you are ignorant of the Scripture. I say this because if you solely depend on what others say about the Bible, be mindful of the fact that the devil himself quoted the Bible in Matthew 4:6.

As much as we read the Bible, we must also be attentive to the Spirit behind the text. Jesus broke every protocol when he decided to attend a party at a tax collector’s house. He openly sat down to eat and drink freely with tax collectors and even those considered the worst sinners in society.

This troubled the self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees who felt Jesus was doing something wrong by associating with such persons. After all, they say “birds of the same feather flock together.”

In response, Jesus said to them: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” By this, Jesus meant that salvation is closer to those who acknowledge their own sinfulness than those who felt they could justify themselves.

This is the point Jesus makes in Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.”

As born-again Christians, our attitude towards others should never be that of condemnation but encouragement. They say “never throw away the baby along with the bath water.” We must love the sinner but hate the sin.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, deepen in me a love for your word and grant that I may understand the spirit behind the text. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 1 in Ordinary Time, Bible Study: Hebrews 4:12-16, Ps. 19:8-10,15, Mark 2:13-17).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu