Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Saturday 18 January 2020
Gospel: Mark 2:13-17
In yesterday’s Gospel, we saw the first conflict which arose concerning the forgiveness of sins. In today’s Gospel we meditate on the second conflict which arose when Jesus sat at table with the sinners. In the years 70’s, the time when Mark wrote, there was a conflict in the communities between Christians who had been converted from paganism and those from Judaism. Those from Judaism found it difficult to enter into the house of converted pagans and sit around the same table. In describing how Jesus faces this conflict, Mark directs the community to solve the problem.
Jesus goes out again to go near the sea. People arrive and He begins to teach them. He transmits the Word of God. In Mark’s Gospel, the beginning of the activity of Jesus is characterized by teaching and by acceptance on the part of the people in spite of the conflict with religious authority. 
Jesus proclaimed the Good News of God. He spoke about God, from His experience, of the experience which He himself had of God and life. Jesus lived in God. 
Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector and he immediately leaves everything and follows Jesus. He begins to be part of the group of disciples. It was forbidden to sit at table with tax collectors and sinners, because to sit at table with someone meant that he was considered a brother! It is the conscience of His mission which helps Jesus to find the response and to point the way for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus.