In the Gospel, Jesus dined with tax collectors and other sinners of the city. In doing so, wasn’t he labeling our official church as narrow minded. If you run your eyes down the church’s list of saints, you will see no tax collectors, only Martyrs, Confessors, Abbots, and Virgins.
Catholics sixty years ago felt that saintliness could be approached by following callings to the convent and the priesthood. I went on to priesthood with the Columban Fathers, while high school classmates of mine joined the Marinoll Fathers. We came from grade schools with more than a dozen nuns each.
But, now, with most of our seminaries closed, and our nun-staffed schools taken over by lay teachers, are we left without any tried and true approaches to saintly lives.
That sends us back to Our Lord’s tax collectors. Might sanctity be in the reach of the tax collectors, bus drivers, and substitute teachers who can’t join monasteries or convents?
There just might be some advantage to their being a part of our every day world. Jesus said he wanted followers who were like the yeast that a woman mixes with three measures of flour until the whole mass begins to rise..