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 suspected of corruption because of the nature of their profession. They can overlook faulty wiring or missing fire alarms for a few dollars under the table. For this reason they may be considered like the tax collectors of Jesus’ time.
Today’s gospel affirms tax collectors’ dishonestly when Jesus says that he has come to call sinners. But its hidden and more important message is that the “man named Matthew” is open to repentance. When the Lord commands him to follow, Matthew jumps to the command. The action implies 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.