February 23, 2024 - 8:00am

Lenten Meditation: February 23, 2024

Lenten Meditation: February 23, 2024

Daily Scripture Passage: Mark 2:13-22

When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” — Mark 2:17

In August 2013, just a few months after he had been elected to the papacy, Pope Francis met with the editor of a leading Italian Jesuit journal to give an interview.

This editor had the first question ready, but he decided not to follow his prepared script. Instead, the editor asked, “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” referencing the Pope’s given name.

The Pope stared at the editor in silence and did not respond. The editor wondered aloud if the question had been appropriate to ask. The Pope nodded and then gave his answer.

"I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

The Pope’s answer points to an enduring truth of our faith that can so easily be forgotten or twisted. As followers of Jesus, we are not a “chosen elect” who may boast of our superior spirituality and use our faith as a weapon to put down other people.

Instead, we are sinners, like everyone else in the world. As followers of Jesus, we are sinners who are deeply aware of our brokenness and who acknowledge that we cannot heal ourselves. Our healing, our wholeness, must come from outside of ourselves.

When we gather in community as Christ’s Body, the Church, we are like sick patients coming to a hospital, as we look for relief from our great physician and friend, Jesus.

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