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Saint Matthew, 21st September; Fesat days of September

"Calling the people to him again Jesus said to them, ’Listen to me, all of you, and understand.’
Monday 21 September 2015

Eph. 4,1..13, Ps. 18 Mt. 9, 9-13

Feast of Saint Matthew, 21st September

“As Jesus was at table in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples;”

it is not just the Words of Jest that make up the basis of his teaching , but most of all, it is his gestures, his way of doing things. He sits down at the same table as sinners, speaks with them, isn’t ashamed to be in their company. When he was batptised, Jesus takes his place amidst them. On the cross, he dies in between two criminels. Jesus is the God-with-us who sees people around him in a different way : he doesn’t judge them nor does he condemn them ; on the contrary, he has a way of seeing them which is full of mercy and forgiveness. Matthew had experienced for himself the depthes of Jesus’ mercy. He gives some surpising words : ’I haven’t come for people who are healthy, but for the sick.’ Someone sick can be violent, impatiently struggling with his problems, someone who may not have peace, unity and hope in himself. The person in good health lives a unity in his being, his unity that makes up his health and this comes from God. We have to learn from Jesus that we are ’sick ’ and that our unity comes together from Him! This is Saint Matthew’s discovery who, when he was called, experienced the salvation of Jesus. And so, full of joy, he offered a meal - he had to rejoice because freedom had come - it is indeed nearby, there where Christ is.

“When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ’ Why does your mastr eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ’ It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

In choosing Matthew, this man whom everyone hated, Jesus does something very provocative. And he is not content to call a sinner as an apostle, he also dares to ’sit at the same table’ with him : ’he eats with publicans and sinners.’ He will often do this, which will give him a scandoulous reputation for many people : here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of sinners and publicans. Jesus is an expert at transgressing laws and customs of his time. Jesus, who calls Matthew, manifests a lot of clarity towards him! He loves him and this

Love saves him. Matthew manifests his recognition by giving a big party wich gives Jesus an opportunity to say, these Precious words to us : ’ I didn’t come for those who are healthy, but for the sick.’ This word is liberating, from now on it is a recognition that can be done without fear for our lives, it is a programme of life, a word of peace.

"Go and learn the meanin gof these words : ’Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice.’ And, indeed, I came to call not the upright, but sinners.’

God wants Tendernes and Mercy. Today Jesus invites us to follow his example. By acting like this, our gatherings find all their life again . ’ Be merciful, like your Father is merciful.’ Every time we are united in prayer,we ask for the grace from Jesus to change our heart of stone into a heart of flesh, so that we may become more tender and more human. It is through the small actions of every day that our faith is revealed, and at the last judgement we shall come to know just how important these little gestures were. Jesus reveals to us that whatever we do for our neighbour who is in need, it is to him that we do this. In the Father’s gaze, we are ’unique’, called to become God’s Family. Healed by Christ, we are transformed in Him, enriched by His Love. Wherever Jesus passes, He makes Peace, He gives back hope. This good news is going to impregnate our daily life,this goes for spouses, brothers and sisters, parents and children. This is how God’s Kingdom is already being prepared on earth. We wish to see each other with a new gaze, and like Jesus, take care of one another. It is in Christ, saved by the Passion and his Ressurection that Jesus’ disciples make peace amongst themselves and become artisans of Peace.

We ask Jesus for the grace to hear this Word : I haven’t come for peope who are well, but for the sick.