When asked why he eats with sinners and tax collectors, Jesus offers a powerful response, “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.” As we acknowledge our sins and seek repentance we, too, receive the Lord’s saving mercy.
Jesus reminds us that just as we pay attention to the signs of the weather, so we also respond to the signs within our heart. St. Paul carries this point further as he recognizes sin and calls upon the Lord for the strength to live in faith.
James & John are offended by a Samaritan village and threaten to call down fire from Heaven. Jesus rebukes them, reminding us all that when we feel injured or offended to look to the Cross and see God’s solution to our human sin.
Jesus announces that he will be handed over, and the disciples are afraid to ask him any questions about it. The fact is, the Lord embraces the Cross to free us from our sins…inspiring us not to be afraid but to draw near Him in faith.
The death of John the Baptist is an outrage, a stark example of human cruelty that assaults our sensibilities. While we acknowledge the presence of violence and hatred in our world we continue to see in the Cross of Christ God’s response: a love that embraces our sins.