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Calling the Tax Collector

"The Calling of St. Matthew" by Caravaggio
There was once a sign that said:
Lost dog. Large cash reward for finder. Dog has three legs, is blind in the left eye, missing a right ear, his tail has been broken off, he was neutered accidentally by a fence, he’s almost deaf, but he answers to the name Lucky.
Let me tell you: that dog is not lucky. That dog, like most of us, has been through a whole lot of mess. However, that dog is blessed because he has an owner who loves him and wants him back.[1]
The same is true of you and me. We may not be lucky, but we are blessed because we have an owner who loves us and wants us back. His name is Jesus and we see his tremendous love and his relentless search for lost human beings in our passage for today from Mark 2:13-17….
Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up an…
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Following Jesus into the Tomb

In 1803, Thomas Jefferson cut from the Gospels those passages he thought would best present the ethical teachings of Jesus and he arranged them on the pages of a blank book in his own order of time and subject. He called the book “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, extracted from the account of his life and doctrines, as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; being an abridgment of the New Testament for the use of the Indians, unembarrassed with matters of fact or faith beyond the level of their comprehension.” Jefferson’s Bible, as it came to be called, deleted all references to miracles and the divinity of Jesus. The closing words of Jefferson’s text were these: “There laid they Jesus: and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.”
This raises for me the question: is a Gospel that ends with death truly good news? To me, such a Gospel seems unfinished.
There is another kind of Unfinished Gospel and it is contained in the Bible. It is Mark’s Gospel which ends w…