Sin and forgiveness.
Hindered them from not acknowledging that they could not accept Christ as a hindrance.
How about us? We find time for Christ, but is that time used? We need to realize that it is not enough to fulfill our religious duties outwardly, but not offend, do wrong, and gossip. Just as the Pharisees wanted to avoid seeing their mistakes, often, we will not admit our mistakes. God forbid if someone mentions it to me! Immediately, I beat around the bush with my head. This convinces us that even today, the Pharisees have their followers. Let us not look around to see who among us can be so..? If we acted like this, we are not far off, and we are them. Do we not often take offense at another and put our actions in a better light? We can find an excuse for everything. We see only sin in our neighbor and ourselves on the altar… The response to the preaching of the Pharisees goes something like this: “So-and-so should have heard this … It was said to him, but not to me.” And then follows the enumeration of his qualities, admittedly, only the good ones.
In the Gospel, Jesus said: “It is not healthy who need a physician, but the sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mk 2:17). We know that the one who considers himself sinless does not see his faults and needs Christ. On the contrary, the one who feels his imperfections, weaknesses, and sins require Jesus and His forgiveness. Surprisingly, the greatest sinners have said of themselves that they are. What does that mean? They were looking up to their ideal and not to those who were worse. The Pharisee will say to himself with satisfaction that there are worse than him. The saint – sees his Jesus, and the procedure is reversed. Since they look upward, they see only those better than themselves there. Therefore, they consider themselves inferior, and at the same time, they abandon their weaknesses and follow them.
We see this in Matthew as well. Jesus calls him. He left the toll booth, looking up to Christ. He saw perfection in him and himself, in himself – sin. This compelled him to leave sin again and again. I always rejoice when I see a new face among us. But I often have to encourage them to be strong when they read in the eyes and the behavior of others the questions: what is that one doing here? What is he looking for here? Ah, has he recovered? On the contrary, we are to rejoice, to be glad when Jesus also stops by our brothers and sisters sitting in the toll booth. May He reach them! For Jesus is God! Let us rejoice when they leave their toll booths and come among us.
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