Jesus caused scandal according to the leaders of the Jews when He ate and consorted with tax collectors and sinners. It seems to me that this is a very narrow-minded position to take. In fact it is fraught with danger as it is based upon making a judgment that will ultimately come back to haunt us as we are all sinners, without exception. From a completely practical point of view, how on earth will it be possible to bring the Good News to such people if one is excluded form associating with them in the first place?
It is important to recognize that Jesus never condones any of their sinful practices but challenges them to repent and change their lives. This is constantly at the heart of each of these instances in the Gospel and serves to remind us of the necessity in our lives to refuse to be a part of sin and corruption in order to call people to repentance and conversion. We can never let our guard down in this area as we are constantly under temptation from many directions as the devil seeks to bring us over to his way of thinking over and against that of the Gospel of truth and righteousness.
The human heart can be a very deceptive thing – it can seek to justify evil and sin in many different ways. We must guard against this so that the witness of our Christian calling is not compromised by consorting with sin. In the First Reading we hear how Isaiah extols those whose lives shine forth with truth and justice – their shadows are like those at noon – that is there is no darkness to them at all! (With the sun directly overhead we do not cast a shadow or only a very, very small one.) It is this sort of a life that we must seek to live and embrace not just for our own salvation but so that we might be instruments in helping to bring others to Christ.
Are there ways in which I am contributing to the problem of corruption in our society? If so, how can I get out of this practice?
Lord Jesus, help me to purify my life of all sin. Help me to shine the light of your truth through my life without any compromise at all!