IT’S OK TO BE "NOT WELL"


“As he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ So he arose and followed him. Now it happened, as he was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to his disciples, ‘How is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard it, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’ ” (Mk 2: 14-17)


So Levi got up and “followed” Jesus, – where? Apparently, first to his own home, because right after the Lord calls the tax-collector, we find Him “dining in Levi’s house.” I’m thinking that the Lord does something similar with many of us, when we allow ourselves to respond to His call and to be led by Him: He first “brings us home” and (re)-introduces us to healthy fellowship with our own; with fellow “sick” or "not well" people who, like us, are in need of a Physician. And by “healthy” fellowship I mean the kind that happens when He is there in our midst, when we let Him be.


Today, as we enter the third weekend of Lent, when we venerate the Life-creating Cross, let me let the Lord “bring me home,” and re-introduce me to healthy fellowship with my loved ones, who, like me, are in need of a Physician. And let me be reminded that while we are, indeed, all “not well,” we are OK, in His presence. He does come and “sit together” with us, as we are. “Remember me, Lord,” I say today with the penitent thief on his cross, “when You come into Your kingdom!” I may be in pain, as was that penitent thief, but like him, I am not alone on my cross, but with my co-suffering Lord right next to me, leading me to New Life in Him.

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