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  • Writer's pictureFr. Kris

Thursday of the 31 week in ordinary time ‘b’

Everyone deserves a second chance, everyone deserves our love, respect, and acceptance. Isn’t that what Jesus teaches us, especially in the gospel reading today? “The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying ’This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” It seems to me that many of us Catholics today would rather condemn the sinners, avoid them, judge them instead of embracing them and giving them a chance for conversion. There is an ongoing debate whether a certain politician should receive Holy Communion or not, because he or she is a sinful person. Yes, I understand that we should avoid a scandal and bad example, but did Jesus avoid scandal? No! He literally scandalized others, by associating with sinners. I truly believe that no one would be converted by being judged, criticized, avoided, and condemned, but only when there is an embrace with love, respect, and acceptance. “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

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