In today’s Gospel, Matthew 9:9-13, we are at Jesus’s knee eating with tax collectors and sinners. He eats with them and the Pharisees question his apostles, asking why he should eat with sinners. Jesus overhears this and says,
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 for the righteous but sinners.
So Jesus comes for all of us, sinners. All we have to do is open our hearts and eyes to his miracles. He is calling you and me to step out of our comfort zones and create our own extravagant life.
Today, is the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle. St. Matthew was a Roman tax collector. Roman tax collectors collected Rome’s taxes, which were quite high, and kept half the profits, by trade. Jews considered tax collectors as traitors and thieves, and rightly so. In fact, the Talmud, [the body of Jewish civil and ceremonial law and legend], classified tax collectors as robbers and murderers. Matthew preached among the Jews for 15 years that the anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus.
So the readings fulfill a great message that we all need mercy
This implies the question, what is mercy?
Merriam-Webster defines mercy,
1. Compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender.
2. A blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion.
God’s mercy is unexhaustive, goes on forever.
God’s activity, manifests mercy, on behalf of his people, to free them from slavery.
It may seem overwhelming sometime or perhaps like you’re trapped as a sinner doomed for nowhere good. I used to think that way, too. Living life as if everything was against you and not being happy. It’s a struggle to look on the bright side, sometimes. In my perspective, the glass is always half full.
That is where I find the strength I need to seek mercy.
Something to reflect on. I hope your Saturday is as bright as mine.