“It is not the healthy who need the doctor but the sick.”
Matthew 9: 9 – 13
Today’s gospel is about the call of Matthew the tax collector. If we judge him by the reputation of tax collectors of his day, Matthew should never have been called to be an apostle. Tax collectors did not enjoy a good reputation. They were despised, and dubbed traitors. They became wealthy through extortion. Yet, despite Matthew, Jesus saw him and called him.
The call speaks volumes about Jesus. It means, Jesus does not look at people with judgment or condemnation. Jesus’ gaze is mercy. Mercy forgives and lifts up others. Jesus would have done both for Matthew. Presuming that Matthew lived up to the reputation of tax collectors, then Jesus offered him mercy. In addition, He also lifted Matthew up from his past and gave him a new future. That is what mercy does. It gives us a new future.
Matthew graciously accepted, since the gospel says that he got up and followed Jesus. What else can we do with mercy but to accept it and grow from it?