20.02.10 FOLLOW

Posted under Reflections on February 19th, 2010 by

Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them (Lk 5,28-29)


Following someone means leaving something else. Following Jesus means leaving everything else. And Levi has done the right thing. He left everything and followed Jesus. Following Jesus was not the problem for the Pharisees or leaving everything behind was also not the problem.

The problem was in eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees were against Jesus regarding his table fellowship. But Jesus came into this world to build up the relationship. Jesus knew well that the chosen people of God were divided among themselves and there were groups among them.

Jesus chose Levi to be one of his disciples. Surely this would not have pleased the Pharisees. Not only he chose a disciple from this group but also he ate and drank with them. His second action was difficult for the Pharisees to accept. Eating and drinking would be equal to having friendship and relationship with them. Table fellowship was sacred for the Jews.

Jesus always takes the side of the suffering people and not the morally good people. 

19.02.10 FASTING

Posted under Reflections on February 18th, 2010 by

Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? (Mt 9,15)


Wedding party is a place of celebration and wedding is not a time for sadness. Jesus himself did not allow the wedding at Cana to become a place of sadness. He worked the first miracle (according to St. John) to keep the spirit of celebration.

Jesus picks up this image of wedding into religion and discipleship.

 Religion unites its followers with traditions and laws that have been followed for years. Similarly any following of a leader has its rules. It is with this frame of mind that the disciples of John the Baptist and the disciples of Pharisees come to Jesus to question him on fasting.

It is very clear that fasting is one of the practices of any religion.

But it is strange that Jesus brings in the image of wedding into this. Wedding also has its place in every religion. Jesus does not go out of the context of religion when he argues with them. Because he says that his disciples also will fast when the bridegroom is taken away from them. He is very much within the limits of religion.

What Jesus is trying to tell them is that they have to see all these factors: religion, fasting, discipleship, within the context of the  bridegroom.

When things are seen in its correct perspective the meanings are different.

For us the only perspective is Jesus.

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