Daily Reflection for Wednesday, September 21 2022
Peace and Blessing, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-13
Responsorial: Psalm 19: 2-5
Gospel: Matthew 9: 9-13
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.” Matthew 9:9
Matthew, the tax collector, was despised by his fellow Jews. He served their Roman oppressors and drained the people of their resources through taxes. Both religious elite and common people saw an enemy in this traitor.
In the television series on Jesus’ ministry, called The Chosen, Matthew is seen as a quirky young man, good with numbers and educated. Matthew has been curious about this teacher Jesus. He has seen him do miraculous things and teach with compassionate wisdom. So when Jesus sees him, Matthew cannot look away. When Jesus calls him, he follows, leaving behind assured wealth and the protection of the Roman occupation.
In today's gospel, we hear the protest by the religious leaders regarding the character of Matthew and the people who attend the feast at his home. In The Chosen, even the other disciples are not happy with Jesus’ choice of Matthew. They question if Jesus realizes who this is and what he has done.
I like this take on Matthew's call because it is always easy for me to disassociate myself from the Pharisees. But when the disciples expressed their displeasure and judgments about this sinner, that gets close to home. I must examine my own tendency to judge other Christians and forget that none of us, especially myself, are beyond either the need for the Lord's healing and forgiveness nor beyond the ability of the Lord to see the goodness in our hearts that only needs the light of his loving glance.
I don't believe any of us is so healthy that we do not need the healing touch of Jesus. If we slide toward believing we are the healthy ones without need of healing, we are at risk of self-separation from God. I also believe that within each of us lives a goodness that is enlivened when we receive the loving, healing glance of Jesus. It is then that we too may hear His calling us.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
Click here for a beautiful rendition of Helen Howarth Lemmel’s hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus