Commentary on the Gospel of
The words are so simple. Follow me. Jesus walks by Matthew and says “Follow me.” And Matthew does. While being a tax collector was likely not an easy job, what would it take to walk away and leave that behind to follow Jesus? More importantly, Jesus reached out to the tax collectors and sinners. He and his disciples ate with them, causing the Pharisees to question the disciples. Life must have been seemingly easier for the Pharisees to be so ready to judge who is a sinner. I am a sinner.
None of us is without sin. So it is comforting to hear Jesus’s words: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” He came to call the sinners, all of us. He will always choose us and we have to take the step to follow. The path is not an easy one. My own path is full of detours and stops and starts. But Jesus will continue to say: Follow me. I know I am flawed and a sinner, but Jesus sees me, sees the good in me. When I heed that call, I know I can do better and be better. One of my first steps should be to learn the meaning of the words Jesus says to the Pharisees. I desire that I show mercy to those around me and sometimes to show mercy to myself. How can I do that? I can assume good intention. I can really try to find God in all things. I can ask Jesus for the mercy and grace to follow him.
Jesus is asking me to follow him. I pray for the courage and the grace to do just that.