Tax collectors were viewed by devout Jews as traitors because they
Since most Jews would not tolerate them, only sinners would associate with them.
These days we might compare them to the Mob or drug lords. They were very unsavory people. Many people were shocked that Jesus would be seen at the same table with them.
When he rebuked the critics he also rebuked all the pious critics down through the ages.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time there was this politician who was a good family man and a devout Catholic. He went to Communion every Sunday and contributed to the support of his pastor (what more could be asked).
Then he was asked to march in the annual gay pride parade. He figured that gay men and women were entitled to respect as human beings. No one seemed bothered about that, not even the pastor of the parish where most of the gays lived. However, a new bishop came to town. He sent word to the pastor of the parish where the politician lived to rebuke the politician.
The pastor didn’t want to do it. The bishop said tell him if he doesn’t stop we’ll ban him from the sacraments and oppose him in the next election. He can’t be a good Catholic and support homosexuals. So the pastor passed on the word. They are citizens just like everyone else, the politician replied. I don’t necessarily approve of their life style, but they have the right to be proud like everyone else.
The bishop backed down.
Father Greeley's blog - Read and comment on
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Gospel jn 21:15-19
Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
In Memory of Father Andrew M. Greeley
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