As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
In one of his first interviews after being elected, Pope Francis said, “That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew. It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff.”
No, not me, not again! I just got comfortable with your last invitation, Lord: to change, to move, to do more. Why can’t I just hold on to what I know and what I have become comfortable with?
With these words, thoughts and feelings, I am assuming that all depends on me and my efforts. I have to keep reminding myself to trust in the Lord and rely on his grace and love.
Give me your grace and your love, O Lord, in their greatest abundance, these will be enough for me!
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
Take, Lord, receive my liberty, my memory, my entire will. You have given everything to me. To you I return it all. Give me only your love and your grace. With these I am rich enough and need nothing more.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola
Note: As an additional resource, you may enjoy a video reflection on Caravaggio’s painting, “The Calling of St. Matthew,” by Fr. Jim Grummer, SJ, General Councilor for the Society and Assistant ad providentiam serving at the Jesuit Curia in Rome.