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Matthew “got up and followed [Jesus].” —Matthew 9:9
Jesus broke into St. Matthew’s life. Matthew, a tax collector, was working at a job that, at the time, was only done by turning his back on his Jewish faith and his Jewish people. Holy and faithful Jews considered a fellow Jew who collected taxes from his own people for the occupying Roman government to be the worst of sinners, in the same category as prostitutes (see Mt 21:31-32).
Jesus entered Matthew’s customs post, looked at Matthew, and called him, saying “Follow Me.” Matthew “got up and followed Him” (Mt 9:9). The Greek word for “got up” is the same word used for “rising from the dead.” Matthew literally rose from the death of sin to follow Jesus to new life.
Jesus calls each of us to “follow Him,” just as He called Matthew. If we feel unworthy to answer His call, Jesus reminds us, “I have come to call sinners” (see Mt 9:13).
Matthew joyfully welcomed Jesus into his home, like Zacchaeus would later do. Let us do the same.
Prayer: Father, give me the grace to “rise up” from any apathy, fear, sin, and distractions and follow Jesus wherever He calls me.
Promise: “There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call.” —Eph 4:4
Praise: St. Matthew had no hesitation in following Jesus and offering Him hospitality (Mt 9:9-10). St. Matthew, pray for us!
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (Celebrate the feast of St. Matthew by reading his gospel. Order, view or download our booklet Simple Reading Guide to Matthew and Mark on our website.)
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