Saturday – 1st Week in Ordinary Time (revisited)
Gospel – Mark2:13-17
I know I’ve said it before but, given today’s Gospel, I think it bears repeating – every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. So what is it that links the two; what lifts us up from sinner to saint, from pain to healing? Compassion! The compassion of Christ! And that is what we see in today’s Gospel – Jesus spending time with the outcasts, the sinners, tax collectors, the sick and the forgotten! And in His own house!
It is a clear reminder to us of what Pope Francis has said time and time again: “The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. ... And you have to start from the ground up”.
Christian singer Matthew West addresses this need for compassion in his song “Truth Be Told”. I share with you the lyrics and the music video.
Lie number one - you're supposed to
have it all together
And when they ask how you're doing
Just smile and tell them, "Never better"
Lie number 2 - everybody's life is
perfect except yours
So keep your messes and your wounds
And your secrets safe with you behind closed doors
Truth be told, the truth is rarely told
I say I'm fine, yeah I'm fine oh I'm
fine, hey I'm fine but I'm not
And when it's out of control I say it's under control but it's not
And you know it
I don't know why it's so hard to admit it
When being honest is the only way to fix it
There's no failure, no fall
There's no sin you don't already know
So let the truth be told
There's a sign on the door, says,
"Come as you are" but I doubt it
'Cause if we lived like it was true, every Sunday morning pew would be crowded
But didn't you say the church should look more like a hospital
A safe place for the sick, the sinner and the scarred and the prodigals
There's no sin you don't already
So let the truth be told
Can I really stand here unashamed
Knowin' that your love for me won't change?
Oh God if that's really true
Then let the truth be told
We are all, in some way, broken. We are all in need of a word of forgiveness or a simple act of kindness. And, if we aren’t there now, then we were there yesterday or the day before. Sometimes we are the patient, sometimes the doctor. Either way, we are called to the path of love and compassion that Jesus lives out in today’s Gospel!