“This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” We find this line tucked into the middle of the second reading. This one sentence beautifully sums up the rest of what we hear in our readings this weekend. We are sinners. We all fall short. We make mistakes. We make bad decisions. We don’t always choose the right paths… and yet, Jesus still chose to come into the world!
Why? Jesus wants to save us, to restore us, to be in relationship with us. This is nothing new. In the first reading, we hear God speaking to Moses about His people, a people who God brought out from Egypt, and how they still turn away from Him. In this conversation, God sets aside any wrath, a wrath the people deserved, and keeps the relationship first. God calls the people, in love, back. This wasn’t the first time God did this, and it won’t be the last. (The whole Bible is not only full of stories like this, but it in and of itself is the story of God calling us back to Him…Exodus is only the second book!)
Jesus continues to reveal this story to us in the Gospel. People are trying to use Jesus’ relationship with sinners as a character attack against him. As usual, Jesus takes the opportunity to reveal a different perspective. Why wouldn’t he be dining with sinners? Using the parables we hear, He teaches about a God that wants everyone to return. God desires that no one remain lost. God’s desire to live in love with each one of us is so strong that God will seek us out, always calling us back. However, this doesn’t mean we don’t have a part to play. We cannot remain complacent with sin. We must repent and return to our God, who is waiting with open arms. God’s love for us is bigger than anything we think can or does divide us ~ Run to God’s love.