Thursday, April 20, 2017


Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office and he said to him:  Follow me.  Jesus saw Matthew not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.
            And he rose and followed him.  There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him.  Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew's assessment, no riches at all.  Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words.  By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps.  In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.
            As he sat at table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.  This conversion of one tax collector gave many men, those from his own profession and other sinners, an example of repentance and pardon.  No sooner was he converted than Matthew drew after him a whole crowd of sinners along the same road to salvation.  He took up his appointed duties while still taking his first steps in the faith, and from that hour he fulfilled his obligation and thus grew in merit.
            To see a deeper understanding of the great celebration Matthew held at his house, we must realize that he not only gave a banquet for the Lord at his earthly residence, but far more pleasing was the banquet set in his own heart which he provided through faith and love.  Our Savior attests to this: Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
            On hearing Christ's voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done.  He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven.  He himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.  (Saint Bede the Venerable, priest)
            The question continues to be, will we answer when Christ knocks?  Will we abandon this world to follow him?  Will we give the banquet at which fellow sinners join us on the way to salvation?  Who have we invited to Church recently?  Who have we reached out to recently?  Christ is standing at our door knocking, will we open the door to him, and invite him to our banquet?     kvs

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