Saturday, January 15, 2022

Follow Me

As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus….Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mark 2:13-17

If Jesus walked about today, would he see us in His mercy, and call out, “Follow me!” or would we be like the Pharisees and scribes who thought themselves spiritually healthy? The Church, it is said, is not a museum of saints but a hospital for sinners. (St. Augustine or Abigail Van Buren or Morton Kelsey?) Although I cannot find the correct attribution for that quotation, I know Pope Francis said, in an interview with the Jesuit magazine La Civita Cattolica, “I see clearly that 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."

My dad always talked about his adventures during World War II. He was still young then and he walked with his brother for several miles from Baliuag to Manila, hiding from the Japanese. Then there is his story of his brother Dever who was caught and executed by the Japanese for printing an underground newspaper. He would also tell us about the destruction and pillage of Manila, and then the excitement of seeing the tanks and planes of the Americans. That was his war. 

I feel this COVID pandemic is our war, and our children’s war. So many stories about how many people got sick and even died. Then when we think it may almost be over, another wave of enemies come in, all invisible! After all these months, how many of us are not broken, in need of healing from wounds of isolation and sometimes despair? 

We are all sinners like Levi, and Jesus sees us with His look full of mercy, and He calls us. Do we know that we need Him, we need His guidance and strength, His care. The Church is a field hospital after and during battle. We need our communities of support groups, to pray for us, to pray for, to support us, and to give support. We are in this together. We are in this journey with Jesus. He does not forsake us in our time of need. 

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I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy