June 8, 2008
Tenth Sunday in ordinary time
Matthew 9: 9-13
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard this, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you do not see by human standards, you see beyond outward appearances. May my eyes be more like yours so that I believe in the power of grace, trust in others as you trust them, and love others as you love them.
Petition: Lord, help me to see as you see and to treat others as you do.
1. Christ Calls Matthew With Christ, nobody is rejected, nobody is crossed off his list. Our Lord invites Matthew, a detested tax collector, to follow him. Christ disregards the usual social standards: He rejects labeling others by status, class, or whatever other category they have been placed in. Thus, he causes a scandal because he reaches out with love to Matthew, who has been cast off by his peers, and he dines at Matthew’s home with other outcasts – people with whom nobody in his “right mind” would be associated. Matthew becomes not only an apostle, but an evangelist who would write one of the Gospels; the repentant sinner whom Christ chose writes his story and sends his message to all people.
2. How Does Jesus See Me? “For the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b). The media pronounces with certainty how we should think, whom we should vote for, who is famous, what types of clothes are important. Given that, we need to ask ourselves, what do we see? How do I see others? How do I judge them? All these questions have to bring me to ask how the Lord sees me. What does he see in my heart?
3. Begin a New Life! Matthew had gone astray. Was it the lure of money or power? Was he keeping the wrong company? Then Christ walked into his life and extended an invitation. Matthew made a free, personal choice and followed Jesus; he returned to the house of the Father. It is never too late for anyone to change and overcome whatever it is that separates him from Christ. For Christ, nobody is a “has-been”. Everyone can turn over a new leaf; everyone has the opportunity to begin a new life.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for calling me through the sacrament of baptism. Help me to discover your love for others and imitate your example.
Resolution: Today I will pray for all those whom I have rejected in one way or another.
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