Today’s Gospel is the first of a series of encounters in which the Pharisees question Jesus’s loyalty to the Jewish law. His call to a tax collector caused quite a stir, but his willingness to dine with tax collectors and sinners, those who were the outcasts in their society, put him at odds with those who insisted on rigid adherence to the law. Jesus didn’t ignore the law because he didn’t care about it, he simply focused his attention on the person or people in front of him, and offered them what they needed at that time.
Who are the people in our lives who need our companionship rather than our judgement? How can we consider what they need from us, rather than focusing on what we think they deserve? Who is Jesus inviting us to gather with around the table?
—The Jesuit Prayer team