Matthew 9:11-13 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
In La Teológia de Liberación, Gustavo Gutierrez, a Roman Catholic priest writing in the 1970’s in Peru, explains the central tenet of Catholic social teaching: the “preferential option for the poor.” This teaching helps us understand that the poor among us hear the gospel message in a way that others with power cannot.
Throughout scripture, we see that Jesus’ call is not necessarily good news for the powers that be. I love this particular instance in Matthew, where Jesus calls for a softening of the heart—not a fierce act of justice or a swift outward movement, but an inward turn of love. May we all carry soft hearts as we proclaim the gospel to those who are in sore need of its liberating love.
MOVING FORWARD: Do some searching around on the Internet about Liberation Theology. What do you think?