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Liturgical day: September 21st: Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist

Gospel text (Mt 9,9-13): As Jesus moved on, He saw a man named Matthew at his seat in the custom-house, and He said to him, «Follow me». And Matthew got up and followed him. As Jesus moved on, He saw a man named Matthew at his seat in the custom-house, and He said to him, «Follow me». And Matthew got up and followed him. Now it happened, while Jesus was at table in Matthew's house, many tax collectors and other sinners joined Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, «Why is it that your master eats with those sinners and tax collectors?». When Jesus heard this he said, «Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do. Go and find out what this means: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners».

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we celebrate the holiness of an old "tax collector". Jesus welcomes in the group of His close a man who, according to the perception of that time in Israel, was considered as a public sinner for he collected taxes for the Roman Empire. Matthew’s decision has therefore a lot of value: he gave up a “comfortable" and "safe" position to become a true public servant as an apostle of God.

- "I desire mercy, not sacrifice": Jesus does not exclude anyone from His friendship!