HOMILY FOR SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
HOMILY THEME: GOAL OF LENT; REPENT
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Saturday After Ash Wednesday, (Day 4 of Lent)
In the day’s Gospel Jesus calls Levi (Matthew), the tax collector to become one of His followers. To many, it was a surprising and unique call given that a tax collector at that time was considered one of the loathed and a great sinner. The tax collector is a fellow Jew who takes advantage of the office given by the Caesar to collect taxes but adds more than the required. Zacchaeus gave us an idea of how much were really collected, “I give half my belongings to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone, I give him back fourfold!”
Jesus was not oblivious of that truth. Yet, He called Matthew to make him His follower and allow him to follow the path to conversion. Matthew responded to the call. He stopped his wicked ways and welcomed Jesus to his home. Jesus was criticised for this, but Matthew saw the love. In response, Jesus said, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
We are again reminded of the goal of Lent, “Repent!” Everyone had sinned. Everyone continue to sin. Life continues and sin continues. There is a need to repentance. There is a need to change. Our faith again gives us this opportune time to reflect and see how our relationship with God had been going. We cannot go on taking for granted this relationship. Like Matthew, no one is so bad that the Lord will not give him a chance. Life is short. Life is contingent. Repentance is needed here and now for everyone.