Gospel: Lk 5:27-32
Jesus went out, and noticing a tax collector named Levi, sitting in the tax-office, he said to him, “Follow me!“ So Levi, leaving everything, got up and followed Jesus.
Levi gave a great feast for Jesus, and many tax collectors came to his house, and took their places at the table with the other people. Then the Pharisees and their followers complained to Jesus’ disciples, “How is it, that you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?“ But Jesus spoke up, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I have not come to call the just, but sinners, to a change of heart.“
The Doctor finds the sick
When do we go to the Doctor? When we are sick. Sometimes, though, even when we are sick we delay going to the Doctor until we can no longer bear the pain. So sometimes our Doctors tell us, “you should have come earlier.“
In our Gospel today Jesus presents himself as our Doctor, our Spiritual Doctor. But there is something so wonderful about Jesus as our Doctor. He is the one who goes out in search of the sick! Our Gospel tells us that Jesus “noticed“ Levi at his post. It was not Levi who went to the Lord. It was Jesus, the Divine Doctor, who went to the “sick“ Levi! Such is our Lord! He takes the initiative.
Jesus, the Divine Physician, looks at the spiritually sick and reaches out to them with eyes of mercy and compassion. In our own time this particular verse spoke to one Jorge Mario Bergolio (a.k.a. Pope Francis). After listening to this Gospel he went to confession and made a radical turn around in his life. He was 17 years old. The tender gaze of the Divine Physician healed him. We, too, must let the eyes of mercy and compassion of the Lord penetrate our hearts!