Friday, July 1, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 9:9-13

Friday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 9:9-13

The Gospel reading for today is “the call of Matthew.”  Jesus saw Matthew as he walked by Matthew’s custom post.  Jesus said to him, “Follow me,” and immediately Matthew got up and followed Jesus.

Matthew then invited Jesus and the disciples to his home to share a meal.  Many tax collectors and sinners also were invited to the meal and they sat in the midst of Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they were scandalized.  They asked Jesus’ disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  However, the disciples did not have a chance to respond to the question.  Jesus had heard their question and he said to the Pharisees: “Those who are well do not have need of a physician, the sick do.  Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” Jesus then continued, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Pope Francis is a wonderful example in our day of a person who truly follows in Jesus’ footsteps. He reaches out to the poor, the needy, and the disenfranchised.  He is a man who embodies the grace of joy.  Joy flows out from his being. 

Today Jesus is calling us to follow him.  Will we follow him with a joyful and merciful heart? Our world is in desperate need of joy and mercy.  If we share our joy and mercy with others today, we may find that joy and mercy will return to us a hundredfold!

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