Thursday 3 July 2014

The call of Matthew

The synagogue at Capharnaum
The call of Matthew in the gospel of Luke: Pope Francis' phrase comes immediately to mind: miserando ed eligendo. He had compassion on him, and he chose him.

But also Rossi de Gasperis' description of the border, on the Via Maris, not far from Capharnaum, where Matthew must have had his tax or toll booth, the possibility that Simon Peter and Andrew, and James and John had been paying taxes to him and hating him, and so the inconvenience and awkwardness of Jesus' choice of Matthew. Or his great inner freedom, along with a deep strength and confidence, in making the choice of Matthew, and choosing to eat and drink with his young friends, mostly other tax-collectors and sinners.

And Matthew "leaving everything immediately and following him." In response to the secco invitation, "Seguimi." Follow ME. No apologies here, as in the case of - was it Elijah or Elisha? "Why do you want to follow me? Go back. I did not call you." It is Jesus clearly at the centre here, he is aware of it, and does not soft-pedal.

Our response: gratitude for the call given to us, and to all young people.

And our prayer: chiedere insistentemente per la grazia di una intima conoscenza di lui, per amarlo di più e seguirlo di più. 

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