The Chief priest and the elders of the people were scandalised by Jesus.
He associated with ‘sinners’, with unclean people! He even ate with them!
To wake them up from their blindness Jesus reminded them of the conversions that happened when people listened to John the Baptist.
‘The tax collectors and prostitutes’ listened to John and were converted.
Even after seeing this these Jewish Leaders remained blind.
They took keeping ‘good company’ to the extreme. Jesus did not enter into the bad behaviours of those who were converted by him. He enabled them to change, some became great saints.
These Jewish Leaders had a rigid interpretation of the Jewish religious laws.
They did not stop and reflect on seeing what Jesus was doing. They could not acknowledge the good that he was doing, they remained blind.
Jesus of course did not ignore the commandments. However, he knew and could see their true purpose. ‘The commandments are for people not people for the commandments’.
Jesus met people where they were and helped them to change, to grow.
Authentic Catholic teaching has a lot of clear principles and ideals to strive for and live by.
It is not good to ignore these teachings and ideals.
However, we need to walk with people as they strive for these ideals.
In his encyclical ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Pope Francis tells us precisely this.
It is about walking with people, meeting them where they are. It is about walking with people helping them to grow. It is about not giving up on people. It is about trusting that the grace of God can help people grow and make new beginnings.
It is not so much where we started from, but how we finish that really matters!
It is about not giving up and continually trusting that God is with us, helping us to be ‘born again!”