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Dining With Sinners

Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

We all eat with sinners. We live with them, we work with them, we socialize with them. “What reason can the Teacher have for eating with tax collectors and those who disregard the law?” was a complaint heard from the Pharisees. Who else could Jesus eat with? Every human being has disregarded the laws of God. You can be sure even those Pharisees had broken God’s laws more than once. They too were sinners. And Jesus sometimes even ate with them.

We must watch ourselves when we criticize others. We might be exposing our own faults. For often what we criticize others for is something that exists in ourselves. If you want to become more aware of that reality, listen to the complaints and criticisms of people you know real well.

The next time you hear someone you know well criticize somebody else, ask yourself if it is a fault he or she also has? Is the criticism that is leveled against somebody else not only a fault found in the person being criticized, but a fault also possessed by the criticizer? It often happens. We so often get caught up in criticizing others that we are blind to the fact that we have those very same faults ourselves.

“What reason can the Teacher have for eating with those who disregard the law?” complained the Pharisees. They apparently hadn’t discovered they too were disregarders of God’s laws. They too were sinners.

The people you and I eat with are sinners, we are sinners. Let’s face it: If it weren’t for Christ we’d all go to hell. We are not only all in the same boat, we eat together at the same table. May Jesus Christ always be at that table with us!

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