Image Levi

 

First reading 1 Samuel 9:1-4,17-19,10:1

The Lord chooses Saul as king; Samuel anoints him

Among the men of Benjamin there was a man named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah; a Benjaminite and a man of rank. He had a son named Saul, a handsome man in the prime of life. Of all the Israelites there was no one more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders taller than the rest of the people. Now some of the she-donkeys of Saul’s father Kish had strayed, so Kish said to Saul, ‘My son, take one of the servants with you and be off; go and look for the she-donkeys.’ They passed through the highlands of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but did not find them; they passed through the land of Shaalim, they were not there; they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.
  When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, ‘That is the man of whom I told you; he shall rule my people.’ Saul accosted Samuel in the gateway and said, ‘Tell me, please, where the seer’s house is?’ Samuel replied to Saul, ‘I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place. You are to eat with me today. In the morning I shall take leave of you and tell you all that is in your heart.’
  Samuel took a phial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head; then he kissed him, saying, ‘Has not the Lord anointed you prince over his people Israel? You are the man who must rule the Lord’s people, and who must save them from the power of the enemies surrounding them.’
 

Responsorial Psalm 20(21):2-7

O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.
 
O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king;
  how your saving help makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart’s desire;
  you have not refused the prayer of his lips.
 
O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.
 
You came to meet him with the blessings of success,
  you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given,
  days that will last from age to age.
 
O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.
 
Your saving help has given him glory.
  You have laid upon him majesty and splendour,
you have granted your blessings to him forever.
  You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.
 
O Lord, your strength gives joy to the king.
 

Gospel Mark 2:13-17

Your light must shine in the sight of men

Jesus went out to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
  When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’
 
____________________________
 

Being loved by God

In the gospel, tax-collectors were social outcasts for the Jews because they collected taxes for the Romans and exploited the people for their own good. In today’s gospel, Jesus called Levi, a tax-collector, to follow Him and be His disciple. He also went to Levi’s house and shared a  meal with other tax-collectors and public sinners. The religious leaders was scandalous by His actions. They asked His disciples, “Why does  he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”. This is a key question that we need to ask to understand the God whom Jesus has come to reveal  to us.
 
The words and actions of Jesus are the words and actions of God. God is a God who loves each person, despite his/her failures, wrong  choices and weaknesses. The calling of Levi and the eating with tax collectors and sinners show us that God desires to be with us in our  frailty and imperfections. Like the experience of Levi, it is being unconditionally loved by God that transforms us to be the person God wants  us to be and live a life according to His purpose.
 
Question for reflection:
How have I experienced God’s love?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.