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