Thursday of the thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 14:7-12; Luke 15:1-10)
His family came together to celebrate his special day. They made a toast, but it was not with the usual fare. Not wine but juice filled their cups. They were rejoicing as their husband, father, and grandfather had been twenty-five years without a drink of alcohol. This is the kind of celebration that the Pharisees criticize in today’s gospel.
Sinners are coming to Jesus. They glimpse in him the arrival of the kingdom of God. Not wanting to let their moment of opportunity pass by, they repent for their past lives. Jesus welcomes them with open arms, and the Pharisees wonder what is going on. They don’t see the kingdom in Jesus. They believe that repentant sinners should be on their knees not at the dinner table.
We must take care not to act like the Pharisees. Grousing when others known to have lived dissolutely begin to change betrays God’s grace. We should indeed thank God to have more witnesses stand with us in testimony to the faith.