Inherent Dignity of All Persons

Posted by

The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Joks Galolo SVD — Catholic Trade Manila

Saturday After Ash Wednesday of Lent

During the time of Jesus’ public ministry, the tax collectors were considered “unclean” people because they were working for the Roman government; therefore, their loyalty is with the Romans and not to their fellow Jews.

Sometimes they collected more from the people, and what is over and above the usual tax they keep for themselves. That is why they were considered sinners by the people. But Jesus regarded them differently. He saw them as lost sheep that needed to be found. He treated them with mercy and compassion.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus did not only call a tax collector by the name of Levi, but he even ate and drank with him together with other tax collectors in his house. By doing so, Jesus was acknowledging the inherent dignity of every human being – Levi and his colleagues included. Yes, they too were created in the image and likeness of God!

By responding to their detractors, Jesus blocked the judgmental attitude of the Pharisees and scribes. At the same time, Jesus was living out God’s attributes of mercy and compassion—the same attributes that we need to live by if we are to live as humanely as possible.

Healthy people do not need healing, but the sick one does; therefore, we need to constantly show compassion to the sick, the hungry, the lost, and the downtrodden. After all, Jesus is with each one of them too.

Whatever we do to the least of our brothers, we also do unto him. This is the point of Jesus: he came not only for the righteous but also for sinners. He suffered and died on the cross for all of us to obtain salvation, not just a select few. If we truly believe in Jesus, then we have to live by his example.

One comment

Leave a Reply