The gospel today tells the story of Jesus eating with persons whom some would consider the wrong crowd. Many of us can recall the high school lunchroom trauma of not being with the right people or seen eating by oneself. No doubt, the tax collectors with whom Jesus shared a meal had felt the hurt of alienation throughout their lives which only became exacerbated over time. We will never know what started this alienation between the tax collectors and the community but the result was an animosity grown in a swamp of anger, silence, and rebuttal. If we take the words of Jesus seriously, as they are written, we note that Jesus admits sinfulness on the part of the tax collectors by reminding the Pharisees that he has not come for the righteous. Jesus sits next to the justly accused, not as a stern judge, but as a loving companion, helping the wounded walk towards his Sacred Heart.