A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 9:9-13
9 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.
10 While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
11 The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
13 Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Reflection: Follow me
Good News: Jesus came for the salvation of sinners.
(Note: This serves as a second part of our reflection on this reading. You can see the first part here.)
Matthew was a tax collector, a profession looked down upon by the Israelites not only as corrupt but unpatriotic because they serve the Roman oppressors. Being despised in society, the tax collectors must have low self-esteem. Imagine therefore the surprise and the joy in Matthew’s face when Jesus, with a growing popularity as a respected Rabbi called him to be His follower. Without any second thought, he got up and followed Jesus.
Jesus indeed came to heal our physical as well as emotional and spiritual illnesses. He came to give back our dignity and make us whole.
Everyone is called to follow Jesus. It doesn’t matter what our background is. We may be a great sinner but our past does not define us. It doesn’t even matter what people think of us. What is important is our response to His call. It is our decision today and our plan for the future that God looks upon with His merciful eyes.
Do we have time to listen to Jesus? Does He have a space in our heart? May we be like Matthew who answered His call and followed Him. In this way, he allowed himself to be transformed by God’s power.