Doctor Who?

Saturday 17 February 2024 after Ash Wednesday
Isaiah 58:9-14 
The Lord says this: If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the darkness, and your shadows become like noon. The Lord will always guide you, giving you relief in desert places. He will give strength to your bones and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never run dry. You will rebuild the ancient ruins, build up on the old foundations. You will be called ‘Breach-mender’, ‘Restorer of ruined houses.’ If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, and doing business on the holy day, if you call the Sabbath ‘Delightful’, and the day sacred to the Lord ‘Honourable’, if you honour it by abstaining from travel, from doing business and from gossip, then shall you find your happiness in the Lord and I will lead you triumphant over the heights of the land. I will feed you on the heritage of Jacob your father. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Psalm 85   Show me, Lord, your way so that I may walk in your truth.

Luke 5:27-32 
Jesus noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting by the customs house, and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And leaving everything he got up and followed him. In his honour Levi held a great reception in his house, and with them at table was a large gathering of tax collectors and others. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples and said, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus said to them in reply, ‘It is not those who are well who need the doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the virtuous, but sinners to repentance.’


In today’s readings we see how Lent is a process that is moving forward through the journey of conversion that our Lord summons us to.

What is this conversion?  well it’s not about being perfect or not doing wrong things.
It is a change of position — a transformation of a person’s perspective so radical that it reorientates that person’s life towards the One who gives life, brings true interior freedom, and ultimately stirs the deep joy of your soul.

We have seen this week, how Lent beckoned us to see;

  1.  Jesus himself is the sign sent from heaven.
  2. The capacity of God to do all things for us means our fasting, penance, and special prayers, serve only one purpose – to increase our focus on the One who provides everything.
  3. The cross at the end of the journey, will not be where we stay.  For after the cross we will encounter with greater joy the Lord of life, who alone can raise us up from our ashes.
  4. The true meaning of life is found in love. For life is love. So then, let us choose life.
  5. Lenten practice is acts of random kindness.  God gives us opportunities to love one another. Lent is another one of those opportunities.

Our encounter with the Lord of life, raises us up from the ashes of sin, despondency, and fear.  He invites us to know him deeply so that our longing heart sings, “what is my life without your love”,  This continuing pilgrimage into intimacy, breaks us open, again and again and again.  Each time, the faithfulness of Jesus’ love towards us, confirms that he is the One who provides everything.  Slowly we see, perhaps even without our awareness, he draws us to himself, taking over our hearts, possessing us.  Changing us.  This is the transfiguring action of Lent — conversion — the medicine of the doctor of tenderness and kindness.  This alone makes us ready for mission.