Today is Thursday 21 September, the feast of Saint Matthew, in the 24th week of Ordinary time.
The Community of Taizé sing Christe Lux Mundi: ‘O Christ, light of the world, whoever follows you will have the light of life.’
Christe, lux mundi,
qui sequitur te,
habebit lumen vitae,
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
‘Follow me.’ Jesus said to Matthew, and Matthew got up and followed him.
Do you remember an invitation like this?… Was your response as immediate as Matthew’s?
Perhaps for you, the call and response happened gradually… or maybe you’re still deciding how or whether to respond to this call?
In your imagination, picture Matthew leaving his tax booth as he begins to follow Jesus.
What are the people around him saying?
Picture Jesus walking closely with Matthew, as he walks away from his booth, follow them…though the streets… past the people who used to frequent the tax booth, perhaps wondering where he is going, until you enter the door of Matthew’s home.
As you listen to the story again, place yourself around the supper table with Jesus and Matthew.
As we close this time of prayer, notice particularly those words: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” What would you like to say in response?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.