Today the Lord tells the scribes and Pharisees that "I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners." (see Mark 5: 27-32). A righteous person is one who is leading a morally right life. This was in response to their complaint that he was hanging around with sinners.We sometimes think the same way, forgetting that no one is living a perfect life. We tend to put ourselves into the category of those who somehow "deserve" the Lord's attention, since we are trying to do the right thing. He makes it clear that we better acknowledge that we fall into the category of sinner if we want the Lord to be present with us. This is very difficult for a lot of people. It is much easier to compare ourselves with others than to look at how we are doing objectively. But when we stand before the Lord to be judged, it will not be according to how well we did compared to Joe or Sarah. We will have to stand on our own and be judged on how well we followed God's will for us.
That is the reason Lent is such an important time. It helps us to take a look and see how well we are doing. And the Lord assures us that He is ready and willing to forgive us and help us start over. All we have to do is acknowledge our sins, ask forgiveness and commit ourselves to trying to do better. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the perfect means to accomplish this, and I hope that we will all take advantage of the opportunities (especially Lenten Penance Services) to acknowledge that we are not righteous, but sinners. And it is for us that Jesus came, and it is He who is calling us to repentance.