Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 23:1-4.19.24:1-8.62-67; Matthew 9:9-13)
Building inspectors are often considered corrupt by the nature of their profession. It is claimed that they have so much authority to accept or reject many hours of labor that they will gladly overlook faulty wiring or missing fire alarms for a few dollars under the table. For this reason they may be considered modern tax collectors who bore the same reputation in Jesus’ time as today’s gospel notes.
The passage apparently affirms the tax collector’s dishonestly when Jesus tells the Pharisees that he comes to call sinners. Its underlying claim, however, is that the “man named Matthew” is also open to the Lord’s command to follow and obeys it. It implies as well that he will forfeit any unrighteous tendencies as he submits to Jesus’ instruction.
We must remember that we too are tax collectors of sorts. By reason of a corrupted nature all of us are given to taking dishonest money, illicit pleasure, or what have you. Nevertheless, at the same time like Matthew God has graced us with openness to truth and love. We learn from Jesus how to live out this new way of grace.