Few things get me so at ease as listening to the best crooner ever, Frankie…..well Sirius radio is running a birthday remembrance of his discography and it was hosted this morning by Tony Bennett, second only to Frank. One of the things that Bennett mentioned is Franks loyalty was deeper than anyone Bennett knew, if you were a FOF, friend of frank, you were his pal for life. Bennett’s career took off when Frank wrote an article in Life magazine mentioning that Bennett was Franks favorite singer, that cemented their friendship and love for each other. As I was getting the chills listening to Frank this morning , it got me thinking about loyalty,do I have it, do I show it, I hope I do but I also reflected on the loyalty of Christ.
Company of sinners or Saints, which would I prefer….
When reaching the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus spots Levi, a tax collector, sitting near by ‘Follow me,’ he says and Levi gets up and follows him (Luke 5:27-28).
What jumps out to me is the simple fact that Levi was a tax collector, not one of the most respected of careers. Levi was looked at askew because of his loyalty to the Roman ruler,Herod, and distrusted by the Jewish community as well.What does Jesus do, Jesus goes to dinner in Levi’s house. How do you see sinners, would you share a table with them, would you break bread with them, would you engage them, Jesus did, he engaged them, called them to repentance and presented the Kingdom of God in a way that made sense to most of them. Oh how I wish I could do the same.
Remember when the scribes and the Pharisees see Jesus eating with people whose religious and moral backgrounds are suspect, they ask his disciples why he eats with such people.
When Jesus hears this, he says, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners’. Jesus’ reference to the scribes as ‘virtuous’ is, of course, ironic. They consider themselves virtuous but fail to acknowledge God as the genuine source of virtue, looking instead to tradition .
I hope today we can forgo tradition, engage a “sinner” and show the loyalty of Christ the King to someone we cross paths with.
Have a great day