by Fr. Tommy Lane
It must have seemed like a disaster for Kish, when as the first reading today says (1 Sam 9), his donkeys wandered away and got lost. However that disaster was used by God to bring Samuel and Saul together so that Samuel could tell Saul God’s plans for his future and also anoint him as the first king of Israel. This is not the only time in Scripture that we see God using a disaster to further his plans. An obvious example is in the book of Genesis when Joseph was sold by his brothers to traders going down to Egypt but he later saved his entire family from famine and he even told his brothers later in Egypt that the evil they meant against him had been turned to good by God (Gen 45:5-7). Paul says the same in Rom 8:28, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” So if you ever lost your donkeys or any other disaster happened, hopefully you have already or are now in the process of turning it to good with the help of God.
Perhaps Levi, the toll tax collector, whom we also know as Matthew, felt like a disaster was taking place in today’s Gospel (Mark 2:13-17) when for the first time in many years he was welcomed and accepted and had invited Jesus to his house, and the Pharisees and scribes came along and tried to upset everything. However, Jesus turned it to good by defending his ministry to Levi saying he did not come to call the righteous but sinners (Mark 2:17). So sin is not the last word. The last word is the forgiveness of Jesus. No matter how unworthy anyone may feel before the Lord - even if in the past you worked for the IRS! - when the Lord calls, he calls to a new life in his grace. He calls you because he loves you and you are precious to him.
© Fr. Tommy Lane 2018
More Homilies for Saturday Week 1