Homily for Saturday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel reading is a continuation from our passage yesterday where Jesus healed the paralytic who was lowered down from the roof. But the important takeaway from these two Gospel stories is how the Scribes who are witnessing all of these moments from Jesus continue to miss the boat. They just can’t seem to understand who Jesus is and what His mission and purpose are. They simply just don’t get it. They don’t get that Jesus has come to challenge every single one of their preconceived notions about what the Messiah was sent to accomplish.
Jesus came to challenge the societal norms, for sure, and many of the religious norms as well. We see that throughout the Gospels. Even in today’s passage about the calling of Levi. Levi, a tax collector, is one of the most hated men in Capernaum. He’s looked down upon from both the Jews and the Romans. It is very likely that he is one of the most ostracized members of society. And yet, Jesus sees him; Jesus notices him. Jesus sees into Levi’s heart. Jesus knows the gifts and talents that Levi has been given and He wants to utilize those gifts for advancing the Kingdom.
The Scribes, meanwhile, do the exact opposite. They are so set in their ways, they are so concerned with following the prescriptions of the Law so exactly, that they allow that to blind them from seeing the reality of what is happening in their very midst.
In my homily yesterday, I challenged us with the question: how are we like the Scribes? It’s the same question that the Lord is posing to us today. How are we like the Scribes? In what ways are we failing to recognize Jesus as the Messiah? In what ways is the Lord looking to challenge our own preconceived notions about who He is or what His mission and purpose are meant to be?
The Lord wants to change our hearts just as He changed Levi’s, by calling his name and asking him to follow. Jesus is calling our names. Jesus is asking us to follow Him. Will we allow the Lord to change us? Will we choose to follow Jesus more closely today?