Jul 6 (Mt 9:9-13)

An elderly man was having a celebration of his 90th birthday.

The man, who lived a life of integrity, was looked up by many, as a good Catholic.

At the birthday celebration, one of the youngsters asked him: “What message would you like to leave to the Christian Youth?”

The elderly person – with some struggle to speak – spoke the following three phrases:

“Look to Jesus!

Listen to Jesus!

Learn of Jesus!”

These three simple phrases are important keys for us to be Faithful Followers of Christ.

The Gospel of the Day – the Call of Mathew to follow Jesus – is a presentation, of Mathew beginning this journey of Faithfully Following Christ, by…

… “Looking to Jesus, Listening to Jesus and Learning of Jesus”

The Gospel today begins with the verse:

“…Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.

He said to him, “Follow me!” (Mt 9:9)

For the religious elite of the Society, this calling of Matthew, the tax collector was a shocking experience!

>> Tax Collectors were among the most hated people in the Jewish Society.

Tax collectors were generally despised and tainted and stained on three different aspects:

1. Nationally Traitors

A tax collector, “sold himself”, to the foreign Roman government, and was a betrayer of the Nation.

>> One of the top-most nation-betrayers!

2. Morally Corrupt

Each tax collector had the right from the Roman government to gather taxes.

The more he gathered, the more he could keep!

>> One of the top-most dishonest people!

c. Religiously Unclean:

The constant contact of the tax collectors with the Gentiles made them religiously suspect.

>> One of the top-most impure class!

And it is this Matthew, a tax collector…

… that Jesus invites to “Follow Him”!

The Journey of ‘Faithful Following’ had begun for Mathew…

>> He began to ‘look to Jesus, listen to Jesus and learn from Jesus’

Mathew would open himself to the Love of the Lord….

1. He opened His heart:

Matthew became a new person.

Accepting Jesus, meant…

… turning away from his old-ways

… forsaking a good deal of income

… rejecting some of his corrupt business people

2. He Opened His Home:

Matthew was excited to share his new-found Love, with others too.

The transformation in one person, became an opportunity, for many others…

… to experience God’s enterprising love

…. and be challenged to undergo a change!

3. He opened his hands:

Matthew also opened his hands & worked for the Lord.

“It could be said, that when Jesus called Matthew, he left his job to follow Christ, but he took along with him, his pen!”

>> And this would later help him to pen the Gospel…the Gospel according to St Matthew!

The call to be a Christian is not an easy one.

Like Mathew, we too have to…

… constantly seek to listen to the voice of the Lord, in the midst of our “busy schedules”

… have the courage to “leave our tables” and begin to depend on the Lord

… continually “face criticisms and comments” from others, and yet be faithful

As Pope Benedict XVI says:

“If you follow the will of God, in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge…!

>> Go on, trusting, in the One that loves you.”

Yes, we all can find…

… rest in His Heart

… welcome in His Home

… and strength in His Hands!

May we constantly seek to ‘Faithfully Follow Jesus’, by always:

>> “Looking to Jesus…

Listening to Jesus…

and Learning of Jesus”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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