Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Amos 8:4-6.9-12; Matthew 9:9-13)
Of all the symbols of freedom and justice in the United States none seems to capture the imagination like the Statute of Liberty. Standing on an island in New York harbor, the image of a strong and lovely woman with a torch in her hand held high certainly has lifted the hopes of millions of poor immigrants. They have sought no more than opportunity which the country based on law and animated by civic affection provided.
Today’s gospel shows Jesus in a similar way calling not the wealthy and the righteous but tax collectors and sinners. He too provides opportunity – his life-giving love – for them to begin anew. By all means they will have to forfeit their larcenies, but they have already a cogent reason to do so in the fellowship they have with the Lord.
Today we Americans should toast out country. Only fools would deny its greatness in spawning not just wealth to millions but, more importantly, a spirit of generosity and cooperation. Of course, we also thank God for His blessings on our forefathers and mothers who first came to this land. Likewise, we entreat the Lord that the gifts so bounteously bestowed will not be squandered out of selfishness and individualism.