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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Saturday 1st in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mk 2,13-17): When Jesus went out again (…), He saw a tax collector sitting in his office. This was Levi, the son of Alpheus. Jesus said to him, «Follow me». And Levi got up and followed Him (…). And it so happened that while Jesus was eating in Levi's house (…), there were also teachers of the Law of the Pharisees' party, among those who followed Jesus, and when they saw Him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, «Why! He eats with tax collectors and sinners!». Jesus heard them and answered, «Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people 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.