By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 1, 2016
July 1, 2016

Gospel MT 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Reflection:

“As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”

In Jesus’ day tax collectors were considered to be the most notorious of sinners, using their authority to cheat people by charging them exorbitant taxes.

Yet, Jesus tells Matthew, a tax collector, to “Follow me.”

“While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.”

Most who reach out to My Brother’s Keeper for help are decent people who are down on their luck.

But, there is the rare occasion when someone will ask for our services with the intention of taking advantage of our charity.

“The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

I am reminded of one such case many years ago. In relating the incident to my spiritual advisor, he asked me, “Jim, what is the most important thing you do at My Brother’s Keeper?”

Without hesitation I answered, “At end of the delivery I hand the person a crucifix with the message, “This is a gift for your home. We are just the delivery people. This is the man who sent you the furniture.'”

My priest friend replied, “I agree. Never worry about being made a fool of for Christ. You’ve told me countless stories of people who have thanked and embraced you upon the presentation of the crucifix. But, the person who would take advantage of your charity is the person who most needs the love and hope of Christ.”

“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

The love of God is where mercy and justice meet. It may be possible for someone to take advantage of our services, but it is impossible for anyone to take advantage of “the love and hope of Christ.”

“The actions of those who are fools for Christ are always directed to one goal – salvation of the soul, both their own and their neighbors.” Unknown



A suggestion: Ask yourselves this question.
"Am I my brother's keeper?" If the answer is Yes, perhaps you would like to join us, as we go Along the Way in spreading the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ.

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My Brother's Keeper, Inc.
P.O. Box 338
Easton, Massachusetts 02356

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"Whatever you do for the most humble of my people, you do for me."
Matthew 25:40