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By Gayle Somers, Catholic Exchange, March 25, 2022

Gayle Somers is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix and has been writing and leading parish Bible studies since 1996. …

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus’ critics level a charge against Him that unwittingly sums up the glory of salvation history.  What was it?

Gospel (Read Lk 15:1-3, 11-32)

St. Luke tells us “tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus.”  Isn’t this a beautiful thought for us to ponder during Lent?  Now that we are well into this penitential season, we are no doubt uncomfortably familiar with our own weaknesses and our bent toward sin.  St. Luke wants us to know that as Jesus taught the great crowds that came to hear Him, He attracted those who were obviously not righteous, religious, respectable people.  Although Jesus called sinners to repentance, He did it in a way that drew those sinners to Him.  He must have spoken without shaming or humiliating them.  This became such a distinctive characteristic of His public ministry that the respectable “Pharisees and scribes” began to complain, saying:  “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”   …

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