Reflection on Scripture Tenth Sunday Gospel A

By 9:23 AM

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.

The Romans contracted with local people to collect taxes. These would add to what the Romans expected their own fees for personal gain This custom did not bother the Romans as long as they received the expected tax. Because the tax collectors, in a sense, stole from their own, they were despised by the people. Because they were considered to be robbers, they were refused entrance to the Temple and the synagogues. Any relationship with them would make that person ritually unclean.

He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him.

Notice the similarity of his call with that of Peter, Andrew, James and John. One becomes a disciple by invitation and response not by volunteering. Notice on the other hand, Jesus not only calls people from an honorable profession like fishing, but also those considered to be from dishonorable professions like collecting taxes. Notice the immediate response of Matthew like the earlier disciples.
As you hear Jesus=s call to you, how have you responded and what is your response? today?

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?"

Remember in the eyes of the people, especially the leaders, association with these made one ritually impure, which means unable to go the synagogue or to the Temple, until ritually cleansed. Remember in the eyes of the Pharisees, sharing a meal, especially in a public setting, implies acceptance -- even approval of the sinful life-style of the invited public sinners and tax collectors. Who are the outcasts of society today? How do you look upon them? Notice they address the disciples, not Jesus. Are they afraid of confronting Jesus directly?
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."

What do you think Jesus means by AI desire mercy, not sacrifice?@ Which is greater, a physical healing or a spiritual healing? Why?
What in the passage touched you on a deeper level?
How can you apply this Gospel passage to your daily life?

 Like Matthew, does God call us into his service today? Or rather, do we, today, try to hear what God has to say to us? Are we attentive to the signs of God in our life? For it is in this way that God calls us, it is in these circumstances that we can be called by God to follow him!

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