Mark: This is the calling of Levi whom we know as Matthew. Levi was a tax collector regarded by self-respecting Jews as akin to a traitor or collaborator with Rome. Mark, though, distinguished tax collectors from “sinners”. Later in this reading Jesus talks about applying a new patch on an old garment or new wine in old wineskins. These are one and the same: a new paradigm – the old verses the new. Jesus was announcing a new kingdom where “sinners and tax collectors” would be accepted. This particular lesson has always to be re-learned in each generation else we become the “old wineskin” and thus useless.
Gospel: Mark 2:13-22
New Testament: Acts 12:18-25
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 20:1-23