Jesus Ate with Tax Collectors and Other Sinners

The Catholic Blogsphere is an interesting community. There are those who truly seek to live the laws of God. They do what is right. They love God above all. They love themselves as God loves them. They show their neighbor love and mercy. They remember that Jesus ate with sinners. They remember that the first persons to come and worship Him were shepherds, who in His day, were the scum of the earth. They were known as liars, thieves, and criminals. Yet, in His teachings, Jesus portrayed Himself as the Good Shepherd. He did not judge. He only loved. He offered the graces for change and salvation. Many of His followers accepted these graces. Many left when He challenged their faith and their love.

Today, there are those in the community of Catholic bloggers who are confronting the evils of our day. Yes, I would agree that they do, but they forget that Jesus ate with sinners. He broke bread with them. They were His people, too. Jesus did not make fun of them. He did not seek to humiliate them or lead others to do so, too. Jesus loved them as He loved the saints of His time. We are all His children. We are all His gifts. Remember, Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”

Yes, we live in a time of depravity when good is bad and bad is good. Life styles are not compatible with the Truth, but we must not forget that every saint has a past. Each day is my past, and I’m not a saint, not even close, yet God shows me His love, mercy, and compassion daily. He pours His blessings on us daily. Yet, sin is strong, and our society has forgotten God. We must be the agents of change, but it is how we offer God to others. Is God a harsh God who will only damn His people?

Sin is rampant. satan is strong. We are all sinners. There are no exceptions. In this year of Mercy, we must develop this virtue so that God will show us His Mercy, too. We might not appreciate what is written by the Catholic bloggers who confront sinners and seek to humiliate them. Did Jesus humiliate the outcasts of society? No, He did not. Jesus welcomed the tax collectors like Zacheus who became a convert the night he welcomed Jesus into his home for a meal.

I don’t agree with certain life styles, and I agree with the Church that these lifestyles are harmful to those who live them, and they are sinful, but when we ridicule and humiliate these children of God, we sin. When they are made to feel less than human, I don’t wonder why they hate the church, I wonder, why not?

Once in a while, Catholic bloggers who use these tactics hit a bullseye. I do applaud them, but, right now, I’m praying for them. I’m praying for me, too.

Our place is not to judge, not to humiliate, but to love and extend mercy to all of God’s children. We must be the Hands and Feet of Jesus. That does not mean that we do not speak out against sin. It’s our obligation to do so, but, we must do this with kindness, love and mercy. That’s what Jesus was all about. He knew what the woman caught in adultery was doing, but He simply gave her the command to “sin no more.” Those who accused her left. Not only was her life spared, but her soul was saved. That doesn’t mean that she did not have to change. That was His command to her. “Sin no more.” That command requires that she change.

We all have to change. We are all sinners, yet, we are all children of God. He loves all of us without condition, but the command to the woman caught in adultery is important. We all need to “go and sin no more.” God forgive us all.

 

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