FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Saturday after Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2018
WORD of the DAY
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” (Luke 5: 32)
How shall I live this Word?
Today, the Gospel presents us with the call and election of Matthew-Levi as a follower and an apostle of Jesus. He calls him in his situation and in his trade as the collector of taxes, a profession that was considered evil but was tolerated by the people who considered him an accomplice of the Roman oppressors of the time and therefore a sinner.
At Jesus’ call, Levi left everything and got up and followed Him. The Gospel here shows the characteristics of this special vocation to be an apostle of Jesus. First, he leaves everything and trusts in divine providence. Second, he gets us, that is, he does not remain in his former position, but accepts to live a new reality. Third, he follows Jesus, accepting His message of salvation and then living it in his life and spreading it to others.
Matthew becomes an example for every Christian vocation that is accomplished by accepting the letter of God’s Word.
O Lord, grant that I too may respond with promptness and enthusiasm to the vocation You have reserved for me.
The Message of Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience August 16, 2006
Matthew got up and followed Him! In this ‘getting up’, it is legitimate to read the detachment from a situation of sin along with the adhesion to a new life, upright, and in communion with Jesus.
Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Fr. Mario Maritano, SDB