Br. Michael, provincial of New York celebrated the Eucharist this morning.....he preached a wonderful Homily.....he spoke about the life of Blessed Solanus......our own Capuchin Friar.....who is going to be canonised soon...
There are two key points we could consider from the Gospel reading today.
The first is how Matthew, the tax collector, was called by Jesus. Walking by the custom-house, Jesus sees Matthew, a tax collector, Jesus simply tells him, "Follow me!" and, without any hesitation or thought, Matthew "got up [from his seat at the custom-house] and followed him."
Matthew's response was one of great generosity and trust in Jesus: what did Matthew know about Jesus? What kind of a man was Matthew? Except that he was named among the Twelve, there is nothing more about Matthew in the Gospels. Matthew wrote the first Gospel which was written in Aramaic. Tradition says Matthew preached in Persia and Ethiopia. He was martyred in Ethiopia.
The second key point was Jesus' reiteration of his mission in life, "Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do... I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
This was a simplified statement of his mission, as compared to what he had read and affirmed from the prophet Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and announce the Lord's year of mercy." "Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen." (Lk 4:18- 19, 21)
Hence, we see Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners; we see him forgiving sin; we hear him give the parable of the Prodigal Son and the Merciful Father. We see him promising heaven to the good thief and praising the humility and faith of the publican in his parable.