Lenten Reflection - Mark 2:13-22 by Scott Beachy
“13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?” 19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast. 21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:13-22
The example of Jesus breaking bread with social outcasts reminds me of our Rule of Life which includes: “love all well.” It challenges me to avoid judging others for what I may perceive from outward appearances, reported reputations, or even observed behaviors. Instead I am called to seek the goodness that is divinely inherent in every person. I am challenged to seek to understand rather than denounce those with whom I may disagree. I am reminded to forgive as I wish to be forgiven. Even more difficult, I am called to pray for those who would do harm to my family, friends, or country. “Love all well” is a challenging but worthy Lenten discipline.