Saturday After Ash Wednesday
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”Luke 5:30
The banquet at Levi’s house was a preview of paradise when Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will recline with “tax collectors and sinners” at the feast in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 8:11). God became “sin” so that sinners might become “righteous” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.St. Athanasius
The Divine Thief, crucified between thieves, broke into our earthly house to take back his spoils (Luke 11:22). The Divine Tax Collector ate with tax collectors to gather his coins, stamped with his image, and bring them back to the Father (Mark 12:16-17; Matthew 22:21-22; Luke 20:24-25).1
God became the guest of sinners so that sinners may return to God as his beloved guests at the heavenly banquet.
Out of Heaven’s treasury
Abba’s newly minted Coin
Stamped with divine royalty
Was sent to Earth to purloin.
Tax collectors hosting Christ—
Coins of the Tax Collector—
Were rifled by Abba’s heist
And restored by the Doctor.
Dusty coins out of the ground
Imprinted by the Spirit,
Freshly minted, graced and crowned,
Stamped for the heav’nly banquet.
1 In patristic thought, humankind is the coin of God stamped with the divine image.