Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 14:7-12; Luke 15:1-10)
It is said that a person is known by the company she keeps. If she goes about with good people, she is probably worthy of trust. But if she hangs around with liars, her words should be scrutinized. It is for nothing, therefore, that the Pharisees in today’s gospel are suspicious of Jesus. He seems to enjoy the company of sinners.
But Jesus will no more adopt the ways of sinners than Pope Francis will look for a luxury hotel. Quite the contrary, Jesus goes out to sinners because they need him. They are, as the gospel says, “lost.” This is a fate worse than death. Unless they receive help soon, they will not find their way home. They will perish in a fearful place.
We too must try to bring back “lost” believers. We do not want to see our loved ones, or anyone else, perish. Our strategy is simple. It does not include harangues. Rather, we talk with them in our homes as people who love them. More importantly, we show by the qualities of our lives God’s blessings for those who love Him.