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Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Scriptural Readings: 1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1; Psalms 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; Mark 2:13-17

My dear encountered couples:

Ever get criticized for doing something human, moral and praiseworthy? Jesus did. In fact, it seems like the Pharisees were watching and disapproving of his every move.

Today we find him at dinner in Levi’s house. (Levi is Matthew, the Apostle in jeans.) With them are other tax collectors and people considered “offenders of the law.” “Why does he eat with these?” was the uncharitable remark that reached his ears. There was Jesus being friendly and nice to people who because of their life style were already condemned to hell by the Jewish Church authorities. But their criticism never stopped Jesus from doing what he believed to be right. We shouldn’t either.

Sometimes I think Satan moves people to criticize others for doing good. Give a person on the street a bit of cash and you might be called a sucker. Exchange a few words with the town gossip and you might be accused of gossiping too. Take a homeless person into your home and you might hear all sorts of disparaging remarks.

Sometimes it seems that good actions have to be done behind everyone’s back. People can make you feel like a criminal just for doing good things that are human and Christian.

Ignore protestors. Some mean well, maybe some Pharisees meant well, but Jesus meant even better. If he wanted to talk and dine with tax collectors, prostitutes, or whomever, he did it. Remember him when anyone tries to make fun of your goodness and love.

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