27 Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.”
28 And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
29 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.
30 The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
32 I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
Reflection: What Love Can Do
As a tax collector, Levi was considered a sinner and people avoided him. We can assume that he had been following Jesus, not purposely to listen but to tax His followers. So he must have heard some of the teachings of Jesus and it could have found a place in his heart but because he thought of himself as a sinner and therefore unworthy of being loved, he was too ashamed of himself to be a disciple of Jesus. Thus, it must have come as a great surprise that Jesus Himself called him to follow. We can imagine his joy of being called to follow by a rabbi when all the rest shunned him.
That is what love can do. Love is powerful. Jesus loves Levi even if people considered him unworthy. That is why when Levi heard Him say “Follow me”, he left everything, his money, his livelihood and followed Jesus. Of course, he had a choice: to remain a sinner or to have a new life with Jesus. Levi chose to be renewed.
Christians today have a choice: to either avoid what people consider as sinners or to love other people no matter who they are. All of us are sinners here. Yet we are called to love and to be a light to the world. Love can heal us. Love can bring people to God. Love is the light that can banish darkness forever.
For further reflection, go here.