Jesus breaks the boundaries and expectations of the religious leaders of his day by calling Levi to be one of his disciples. Levi’s friends were fellow tax collectors and "sinners", maybe the type of people that did not follow the strict dietary and purification code of the Pharisees. The scribes and Pharisees were very particular in keeping these outward observances and thought themselves "better" than the common people. Jesus breaks through this attitude with the declaration: "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
Lord, like the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, I am grateful that you are able to sympathize with my weaknesses. May I always be aware of my sinfulness. You discern my reflections and thoughts of my heart. I am not afraid. I confidently approach you "to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help".
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.