Jesus said, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
– Mark 2:17
Our Lord calls everyone. How, then, can we explain the restriction He seems to place here when He says He has not come to call the righteous? It is not really a restriction. Here Jesus takes the opportunity to warn the proud – those who consider themselves just, and think they can be saved by their own efforts.
Our Lord’s words are an invitation to repentance. In fact, St. John Chrysostom explains this verse by putting these words in Jesus’ mouth: “I am not come that they should continue sinners but that they should change and become better.”
St. Teresa’s Prayer…
Our Lord’s words should move us to pray humbly, like St. Teresa did, for those – including, perhaps, ourselves – who continue to live in sin.
“Ah, how hard a thing am I asking of You, my true God!
I ask You to love one who loves You not,
to open to one who has not called upon You,
to give health to one who prefers to be sick
and who even goes about in search of sickness.
You say, my Lord, that You came to seek sinners;
these, Lord, are the true sinners.
Look not upon our blindness, my God,
but upon all the blood that was shed for us by Your Son.
Let You mercy shine out amid such tremendous wickedness.
Behold, Lord, we are the works of Your hands”
Lord, make me a better person,
rid me of all that is not from You and replace it with Your love.