• GOSPEL PEARLS

Oscar Wilde

I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5: 32)

After this Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5: 27-32)

Jesus came to dwell among us especially for the sake of sinners. This is wonderful news, since we are all sinners. Those who think they are righteous before God commit sins of arrogance. Often when we think we are good and near to God, we are instead very far from Him. There is nothing Catholic about self-righteousness or “respectability.” Oscar Wilde, who was a convert to Catholicism, said "the Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone — for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do."