Isaiah 58:9b-14
Luke 5:27-32


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;

Giving bread to the hungry is not just a Judaeo-Christian thing. It is part of authentic humanity, properly understood. However, our Christian scripture and tradition give a distinctive sense of direction for our care of the poor and our action for justice. Our Lenten journey reminds us of our radical dependence on and need for gratitude to God. Our call to repentance evokes our turning again to God’s purposes and to an obligation to seek justice and a personal accountability before the ordering power of creation.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus responds to complaints that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners: I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners. Nothing could be more Lenten! Commenting on this passage in 2016, Pope Francis said:

There is no saint without a past nor a sinner without a future. It is enough to respond to the call with a humble and sincere heart. The Church is not a community of perfect people, but of disciples on a journey, who follow the Lord because they know they are sinners and in need of his pardon. Thus, Christian life is a school of humility which opens us to grace.

May all of us support each other as a repentant school of humility, opening us to grace!

John McGrath is a parishioner of St Brigid’s Marrickville.