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God calls sinners to repentance!

Background Music: Panalangin by Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Jona Valdez

February 17, 2024 Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Memorial of the Seven Founders of the Order of Servites, religious
Daily Readings: Isaiah 58:9b–14, Luke 5:27–32

The first reading of today is an address to the post-Exilic community struggling to give meaning to their awful existence. On the one hand, they are rebuilding the temple and city of Jerusalem at the pace of snails. On the other hand, there are frequent leadership crises. Lack of stable leadership has become a cause for concern. Many divisions cause quarrels. Physical and social restoration were the needs of the hour. They oppress the poor. They slander each other.

Therefore, the Prophet tells them that if they feed the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, they will shine. The Lord will guide them continually and satisfy all their needs. The Lord will help them rebuild their ruins. The Lord will call them the repairers of the breach and the restorers of the streets. They will rejoice in the Lord.

Thus, the entire text becomes a kind of catechesis to the people of Israel as to how they can restore themselves and find joy in the Lord. The response to the responsorial Psalm turns out to be an apt prayer for all those who want to come closer to God: “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your path.”

The verse before the Gospel summarizes the Gospel account: the call of Levi to be an apostle. God says in Ezekiel 33:11, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.” Jesus visits an unlikely place to call a tax collector named Levi. He responds to the Master with a whole heart and organizes a great banquet to celebrate his conversion and call.

Jesus makes use of this occasion to teach them God’s intention. It is those who are sick who need a physician. Those who are in good health do not need a doctor. God is in search of sinners. They have a special place in the salvific scheme of salvation.

Holy Mother Church honors the memory of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servants of Mary. These men were highly successful cloth merchants from Florence, Italy. They dedicated their lives to God in a holy bond with a holy mission to devote themselves entirely to the service of God. They embraced a mendicant life of begging, poverty, and prayer. Mother Mary guided them through a common apparition.

Call to Action for Catholic Living: To make our worship meaningful, it is necessary to establish a bridge between worship and lifestyle. The gap between the two suggests hypocrisy. What efforts do I make to bridge the gap between the two?


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.