Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Amos 8:4-6.9-12; Matthew 9:9-13)
The famous psychiatrist-writer Scott Peck once began a presentation by speaking about one of the most important events of the twentieth century occurring in Akron, Ohio, during the 1930s. The audience wondered if they heard the man correctly. They thought, “What famous event ever took place in Akron, Ohio?” Soon Dr. Peck explained. He was referring to the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that has enabled millions of people to overcome a killing disease.
People attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings have a distinct advantage over most of the population. They know that they are sick; therefore, they seek the help they need to overcome their debility. Unfortunately, most people are in denial about their sickness. Of course, not everyone is an alcoholic, but each of us has some sickness, some inclination toward sin. Jesus tells us just as much the Pharisees in the gospel today that unless we acknowledge ourselves as sinners, we cannot share in the Kingdom of God that he is bringing about.