HOMILY FOR SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY.
THEME: SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS VERSUS COMPASSION.
BY: FR. GERALD M. MUSA.
Self righteousness urges us to judge, demonise, condemn and treat morally weak people scornfuly. The Pharisees and scribes displayed selfrighteousness in their judgemental attitude towards Levi. They treated him as an irredeemable sinner and social outcast for being a tax collector. Jesus acted differently by his compassionate attitude towards Levi. He associated with him and dined with him. When the Scribes and Pharisees asked, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “..Jhave not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Jesus was interested and is still concerned about people who have been condemned by society.
He offers sinners an opportunity, a new beginning, a second chance to re-construct and renew their broken lives. Levi seized the opportunity of meeting Jesus to open a new chapter in his life. He was willing to change his lifestyle and radically took the tough decision of leaving everything to follow Jesus. Unlike Levi, the Pharisees and Scribes lived in denial of their spiritual disease of self-righteousness. There are too many selfrighteous people, whose judgmental attitude and superiority complex discourage sinners and weak people from coming to Church. Do we behave like the Pharisees and Scribes by our judgmental attitudes towards sinners or do we imitate Jesus through our welcoming, compassionate and merciful approach to the weak and fallen?
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