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Today’s Gospel
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September 21st: Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist

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Gospel text (Mt 9:9-13): 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. 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.”

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we celebrate the holiness of a former "tax collector". Jesus welcomes into the group of His close friends a man who, according to the notion of that time in Israel, was considered a public sinner for collecting taxes in the service of the Roman Empire. Matthew’s decision therefore has 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!