Reflection on the Daily Readings for 7/03/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Friday of 13the week. Genesis 23:1-4.19.24:1-8. Psalm
106:1-2.3-4.4-5. Matthew 9:9-13. Lectionary # 381.

Matthew's call is the theme of our Gospel. We know that he is a
taxcollector and is considered the author of the Gospel of Matthew.
However, we find that Mark and Luke identify the same event with a tax
collector named Levi.  Which Gospels are the one to give us his name?
Probably, all three.  Matthew could also have been named Levi. The
historical-critical reading of the Gospel of Matthew cannot say this, but
the ordinary belief system can!  It really does not matter and is not a
question of faith or of the veracity of the New Testament. Our Christian
tradition has always considered this Matthew in chapter 9 the author of the
Gospel.  He is fittingly connected with the Gospel we are continuosly
reading within the liturgical cycle of year one.

A tax collector was considered a sinner and unclean by the religious
leaders who surround Jesus. But Jesus is not concerned. He is here to call
all people to God through a conversion experience. Sometimes a miracle
brings this about and at other times, his own common sense words that call
someone to follow him.  Matthew does. Not only that he is very generous and
has a party for his friends and Jesus' friends.  This too irritates the
religious authorities for Jesus now is not only speaking to sinners but
actually eating with them.

We are amazed at Matthew's quick response and his sense of freedom to
entertain Jesus and to have a totally new outlook on life. We may be in the
same situation when Jesus calls us.  Most of us admit we are sinners and
need the call of Jesus.  Jesus is not looking for sacrifices of a ritual
nature from us. He is interested in our wholesome turn about in our
attitudes, judgments, and motivations.  We are glad for Jesus' compassion
for all people, but especially for us who are sinners.  Amen.