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Master·evangeli.net

Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Mk 2:13-17): Jesus went out along the sea (..). He saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Matthew’s vocation: Jesus calls from his place of employment

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, Matthew is called from his place of employment to follow Jesus. Only in the account of certain calls is the work of those concerned mentioned. Peter, Andrew, James and John are called while they are fishing; Matthew, while he is collecting tithes. These are unimportant jobs! Jesus’ call, therefore, also reaches people of a low social class while they go about their ordinary work.

Matthew responds instantly to Jesus’ call: "He rose and followed him". The brevity of the sentence clearly highlights Matthew’s readiness in responding to the call. For him it meant leaving everything, especially what guaranteed him a reliable source of income, even if it was often unfair and dishonourable. Matthew understood that familiarity with Jesus did not permit him to pursue activities of which God disapproved.

—In this "he rose", it is possible to read the detachment from a sinful situation and, at the same time, a conscious attachment a new, upright life, in communion with Jesus Christ.