Feast of Saint Matthew, apostle and evangelist
(Ephesians 4:1-7.11-13; Matthew 9:9-13)
A young pastor in Chicago speaks of the theology of space. He sees his community as addressing violence wherever it happens. He reasons that the Church building should reflect an outreach to those often involved in violence. So he has opened in the middle of the church by moving the pews to the side. Now the youth who often cause violence can gather in church for different activities seven days a week. The pastor shows the same zeal to call sinners as Jesus does in today’s gospel.
What does Jesus see in Matthew? No doubt, the tax collector has financial ability. But Jesus needs preachers who will be loyal to him and then be ready to endure hardship on his behalf. Perhaps he notices on Matthew’s face dissatisfaction with his compromised profession. As a fine judge of character, he may see a reluctance to handle money and a need to uplift others. In any case, he has assessed Matthew correctly. As soon as he issues his call, Matthew leaves behind his professional accoutrements to follow.
Jesus calls every one of us to serve. Certainly, we are not all to be apostles. But, as the Letter to the Ephesians says, everyone is invited “for the work of ministry.” Let us not hesitate to respond. Like Matthew let us readily put our things aside to follow Jesus.