Posted by: livingscripture | September 21, 2011

Twenty Fifth Wednesday – Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle

From the Word of the Day

“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.”

Matthew 9: 9

How should we live this Word

Matthew was ‘seated.’ It was in this position that Jesus found him in the city of Capharnum, at the customs post. His hunger for money had made him install himself there to collect the taxes from the caravans coming from Syria and on the fish caught in the lake. Because of his ill-reputed business, he was considered impure and thus was shunned. Jesus, on the contrary, ‘sees him.’ For Him, this man is not a corrupted person to be avoided but a sick person to cure, a dead person to raise. It is not by chance that after Jesus tells him, ‘follow me,’ Matthew the Publican ‘got up.’ To get up is a verb typical to resurrection. From a sitting position, as the victim of a disquieting avarice, dead to what really counts, Matthew is re-born. He becomes a new man, a welcoming home for Jesus, a friend, and gradually, a disciple, an apostle, and finally a martyr for the faith.

Let us reflect on how we are sometimes seated, overcome by the hunger to have, to take, tormented or distracted by the passion to possess, not only in regard to money, but also fame, success, career, esteem, affection, and attention. We are totally concentrated on ourselves and burn our bridges with others and with God because there is no room for anyone in our heart. Possessing has taken first place over being. Thus we no longer identify ourselves with who we are, sisters and brothers, friends, children, but with what we have. If this is our position, it is time to ‘get up’ in order to follow Jesus, to learn to welcome and love others rather than demand to be welcomed and loved.

 Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will focus on the image of Matthew the Publican and I will ask the Lord for the strength to get up as he did, with alacrity and promptness, in order to run to Him and follow Him in newness of life.

If I am ‘seated’, bent over my voracious avidity, dear God help me to get up and seek Your Kingdom in which the only hunger possible is for Your Word that alone satisfies.

The voice of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (The Truth Will Set You Free)

Humans are aware of the fascination of Jesus and ask themselves about Him. It is a decisive search, a question to be asked in all seriousness and availability, to allow ourselves to become involved.

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