Answer us, Lord, for your mercy is kind; in the abundance of your mercies, look upon us.
Almighty ever-living God, look with compassion on our weakness and ensure us your protection by stretching forth the right hand of your majesty. Through our Lord..
“If you pour yourself out for the hungry, then shall your light rise in the darkness.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah 58:9c-14
Thus says the Lord: “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. “If you turn back your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honourable; if you honour it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 86 :l-2.3-4.5-6 (R. llab)
R/. Teach me, O Lord, your way, So that I may walk in your truth.
Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my soul, for I am faithful;
save the servant who trusts in you, my God. R/.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
For I cry to you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
For I lift up my soul to you, O Lord. R/.
O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
Full of mercy to all who call to you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer,
And attend to my voice in supplication. R/.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL Psalm95:7d.-8a
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord, but that he turn from his way and live. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke5:27-32)
At that time: Jesus saw a tax collector, named Levi, sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he left everything, and rose and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his house; and there was a large company of tax collectors and others sitting at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
In the time of Jesus, the Jewish citizenry was divided into the Pharisees, the Publicans and the Zealots. The Publicans were those Jews who accepted to work for the Romans, either as contractors or employees. They were port officials, military contractors, and public officials such as tax collectors. Because of their acceptance of the Roman officials, the other citizens hated and despised them and even called them sinners. Levi, whom Jesus met, was a publican and a tax collector. Jesus asked Levi to follow whim and he left everything and followed him he threw a sort of farewell party as he was leaving his life as a publican to become Jesus disciple. The Pharisees, unhappy with the attitude of Jesus, wondered what kind of religious teacher, contaminates himself with sinners. Jesus reminded them that he came for the sinners and not the righteous. The Lord calls whomever he chooses. It is not our place to judge.