And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.
Read Chapter 15
Cornelius a Lapide
And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured. For as they avoided the touch of unclean bodies, so did they avoid that of sinful souls. Hence they did not deign to speak to sinners, much less to eat with them. This constituted the proud spirit of the Pharisees, who thought themselves pure and holy in all things pertaining to the law, and therefore kept apart from the impure that they might not be defiled. To them the spirit of Christ was clearly opposed; for He came into the world to save sinners, and therefore sought opportunity to converse with them, and when invited was present at their feasts; for nothing is more pleasing to God than the conversion of the sinner. "From which we may gather," says S. Gregory (Hom34), "that true justice, i.e. the justice of Christ, is full of compassion, but that the false justice of the Pharisees is scornful." "Indeed, it Isaiah ," says S. Chrysostom, "the mark of the apostolic life, to think for the salvation of souls."