Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Amos 8:4-6.9-12; Matthew 9:9-13)
Of all the symbols of freedom in the United States none seems to capture the imagination like the Statute of Liberty. Standing on a patch of land in New York harbor, the image of a strong and lovely woman holding a torch high has lifted the hopes of millions of immigrants. The statute beckons the newcomers to take advantage of the opportunities which the country provides.
Today’s gospel shows Jesus in a similar vein. He is not calling the righteous to follow him but sinners. He provides them opportunity to begin life anew through repentance and commitment. They have to forfeit their larcenies, but they are given a greater treasure in the friendship he offers.
It is necessary that we see ourselves as sinners, but we should not take pride in the fact. Sin hardens us from becoming the loving persons God calls us to be. We need to constantly purify our thoughts, actions, and desires so that our lives might reflect God’s goodness.