Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist
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.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
He heard this and said,
"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Jesus made it clear that those who follow the scribes and Pharisees, the righteous, were in a place where they were almost impossible to change, they were so convicted and convinced of their way of life was the way that God wanted. But He doesn't want us to give up our freedom for a law that rules our life and tells us how to act. He wants us to let Him feed us with truth and life, and we become strong and healthy. His kingdom is about unmerited love, not a slave to a law.
Father, you teach that everything we do comes from a heart that is freely giving this beautiful gift of love, care, compassion, empathy. That's the kingdom. Help us never to lose sight that our call is to being a source of unmerited love to those who are struggling, to those who are lost, to those who are enslaved. And we ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.