Friday of 13th week, even numbered year Vendredi de la 13e semaine, année paire

“Jesus, coming out of Capernaum, saw a man, by the name of Matthew. He said to him : ’Come, follow me.”
Monday 11 April 2016

Am.8,4..12 Ps.118 Mt.9,9-13

Friday of 13th week, even numbered year

“The man got up and followed him. Jesus was sitting at table in the house and many publicans and sinners came to sit with him and his disciples.”

The relationship between Jesus and Matthew is a secret belonging tot hem.

Matthew’s life turns around when he is called by Jesus. Matthew invites Jesu for meal to his house, it is a sign of great openness, the mystery of personal liberty of each one of them. What recognition is between them what attraction of newness, how sure they are of this path together what hope making possible the call and the response.

We can’t know and it is right that this should escape us.It belongs to Jesus and Matthew.

What we learn is that it happens. Jesus calls a man to follow him and he does follow him. This encounter has a social dimension. The call and response brings others along : Matthew’s friends to go too, towards Jesus who welcomes them and Jesus’ enemies who seek to destroy the group that is made up and to sow a spirit of division in this group between the disciples and the new ones, the publicans and sinners.

Following Matthew, we ask our Father for Jesus’ benevolent and merciful gaze. His heart is filled with gentleness and humility, it is a heart full of Tenderness and Love.

In order to understand this Gospel, the image of the precious pearl comes to our aid!

A diamond that is expose to the sun shines with all its fiery rays. The way Jesus looks at Matthew will touch God’s image in him and this an unspeakable beauty! This is the way God looks on each of us, beyond our wounds and the misery of our sinfulness. This gaze finds us to be in a state of great Beauty, in the resemblance and image of God Himself.

The ’diamond’ of our heart has an affinity with the merciful heart of Jesus. Matthew is joined by Jesus in his hidden desire.

“Seeing this, the Pharisees said to his disciples :’ Why does our master eat with publicans and sinners?”

In his response, Jesus reveals the communion that ahs the group hold together. In Jesus’ gaze, each one has been unable to get to know himself, rec ognise his weakness, also know that he himself is called to grow, to take things in a different way.

The personal path of each person permits himself to recognise others, to envisage a new existence together. If the Good New is for people who desire it, it is also for people in a group. Jesus calls us personally, but through one person, he strives to touch another. A certain atmosphere is created where each person envisaged his life differently, in a community that is a new one.

Welcome and friendship give an atmosphere where there is no more judgement or exclusion but communion for all. Everything becomes lighter.

The Pharisees became distanced form the inner Reality of the Gift of God, they think they are righteous. They aren’t around the publicans ad sinners who in their sight do bad things. God takes everything up in a New Love. He wants to change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh!

We ask for the grace to welcome one another as God welcomes us. God’s mercy absorbs our misery. We need to change our gaze so as to enter into Jesus’ desire. We welcome our misery, that of being neither good or up righteous, so that he can come and heal us.

“Jesus who had heard this, said ’It is not the people who are well that need the Doctor, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this Word means ’It is mercy I am looking for and not sacrifices. For I came to call not the unrighteous but the sinners.”

We appreciate these times when we come together, in the diversity of each one of us. We find something of the flexibility of the reationship which allows Matthew and his friends to take up their existence otherwise with Jesu.

The beauty of the encounter with Jesus provokes Matthew to make a big meal where he invites his friends to give thanks! Here we see many publicans and sinners come and take their place with him and his disciples. He has a lovely response and this concerns us all :’ Go and learn what this Word means ’It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice.’ But the Pharisees cannot bear that.

We know how these mixed feelings ae within us, we too put people into categories. There are people for whom we excuse everything and others we look on despisingly, completely differently.

We ask for the grace to change our way of seeing things so as to discover the tenderness and Infinite Love of God.