Providing the Word of God.

March 4, 2017


I just want to spend time with you

Reading 1 – IS 58:9B-14

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“Restorer of ruined homesteads.”

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with maliceB
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (11AB) Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

Verse Before the Gospel – EZ 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

Gospel – LK 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

Reflection

Many of you may well remember the humble interaction between a small boy and his very busy father. It has been adopted by many cultures and settings all because its central message is true.

Basically, it goes like this (in a nutshell): A young father is overwhelmingly preoccupied with work and incredibly busy. He hurries in and out of his son’s life, whirl-winding in and out of dinner, homework and otherwise precious father-son moments. It is easy to spot the boy’s disappointment and sadness through all of this. One day, the boy asks his father, ‘How much do you make an hour?” Begrudgingly, the man spits out some arbitrary number and life goes on, such that it is. Later we see the boy saving every nickel, dime and penny until he reaches a moment where he comes back to his father and asks to borrow $50 (or thereabouts), after which he returns with enough money to purchase ONE HOUR of time with his dad. And as these kinds of inspirational/instructional stories go, the young father “wakes up,” spends time with his innocent son and life is good again.

 

“If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted…

“If you call the Sabbath a delight, and the LORD’s holy day honorable…”
(First Reading)

…I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” (Gospel)

Simply put, my friends, during this great season of Lent, our God wants to spend time with us, wishing to purchase enough capital to spend at least one hour of quality together. Removing negative speech, wasted time on frivolous matters and looking to satisfy the needs of those around us is the beginning, not only of wisdom, but also of the right mind and heart to keep spending more and more time with the one who truly loves us.

As the commercial asks, “What’s in your wallet?”

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