Luke 5:27-32 NRSVue

27After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax-collection station, and he said to him, “Follow me.” 28And he got up, left everything, and followed him.

29Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others reclining at the table with them. 30The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick; 32I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

Tax-collectors were the most despised of people. But Jesus challenges the prejudices of his day. He calls Levi (St Matthew) and awakens him to his human potential and dignity. Matthew leaves the money-table to sit with Jesus at the banqueting table of forgiveness. Mercy is at the heart of Jesus’ mission.

Lord, your outreach towards sinners consoles me. Forgive me for the times when I am swayed by prejudice, when I judge, despise or exclude others. I want to be at your table no matter who else is there! Grant me the grace to respond to your call – to follow you wherever you lead.