Monday, September 21, 2015

“The first step to becoming is to will it”

“To be faithful, to be creative, we need to be able to change. To change! And why must I change? So that I can adapt to the situations in which I must proclaim the Gospel. To stay close to God, we need to know how to set out; we must not be afraid to set out.” ― Pope Francis, "The Church of Mercy” - Published April 25th 2014 by Loyola Press
Gospel Text:  (Mt 9:9-13)
As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Today we celebrate the life and accomplishments of St Matthew, an early disciple and apostle of Jesus.  Among the four evangelists, only Matthew and John were members of the Twelve apostles. Mark and Luke did not, as far as we know, ever meet Jesus during His earthly life.
Today’s Gospel passage presents Matthew’s own account of how Jesus called him to serve. Matthew is strikingly honest about his sinfulness. In light of his own need for mercy, Matthew presents Jesus through the words that the Lord speaks at the end of today’s Gospel passage: “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus utters the call to Matthew in its simplest form. It is simple to say, but not easy to do, especially considering that Jesus leads Matthew and the other disciples to the foot of the cross after that call. And yet, Matthew shows us all what it takes to start: he got up. He answered. He didn’t know what his part was yet.
Matthew’s answer, like Mary’s fiat, made Christ known to infinite others. He helped make it possible for us to answer the call, too, though we were not sitting with him on the side of the road when Jesus walked by and said “Follow me”.

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