One of my favorite paintings is The Calling of Matthew by Caravaggio which decorates St. Louis of France (San Luigi de Francesci) in Rome. I would often go by and drop a 250 lira coin to turn on the light which shown on it and stare in awe until the light went out (and even after, especially if I did not have the coin). The triad of paintings there in that chapel show the whole of the remarkable apostleship of Matthew, but it is the Calling that holds my attention. To me it is also one of the most powerful calls of Jesus. Not that all of the disciples did not sacrifice everything to follow Jesus but that the ramifications of Matthew as a disciple far exceed the problems caused by surrounding himself with ignorant and back-water fishermen (meaning one should never judge a book by its cover but should see as God sees). The Gospel for today captures that.
As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, "Follow me."
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
He heard this and said,
"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
-- Matthew 9:9-13
Things to Think About