Homily for the tenth Sunday of the year - Year A - Mt. 9:9-13
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, «Follow me.» And he rose and followed him.
 
" And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, «Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?» But when he heard it, he said, «Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." (Hosea 6:6) For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, «Follow me.» And he rose and followed him. "
 
After a long interruption, which was necessary for the celebration of Lent and the Easter season, we are once again in the liturgical Ordinary Time of the year. We find ourselves in Galilee, probably in Capernaum. Jesus has just healed a paralytic and forgiven his sins (cf. Mt. 9:2-7). The Savior of men begins his evangelical preaching: through his miracles, he wants the Holy Spirit who rests upon him to enlighten the minds of all men, leading them to faith in Him whom the Father sent!
 
If Jesus is the envoy of the Father, he is also, above all, he who came to the earth, at the Father's command. For Jesus always does the Will of his Father: he is one God with the Father, in the Holy Spirit. So, when Jesus is sent by the Father, he comes to us by his own Will, which is one with that of the Father. At the moment of the Incarnation of the Word, the Son of God came to the earth in order to give us his own divine Life, at the price of his redeeming Sacrifice of the Cross. Much more than just the envoy of the Father, Jesus is He who comes, He is God the Savior: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
 
" He said to him, «Follow me.» And he rose and followed him."
 
What is necessary for a man or woman to follow, if not a stranger, then at least someone whom one does not suspect to have any hidden powers? For Jesus has barely begun to make known the omnipotence that is his. The answer is simple: what is necessary is trust! Matthew trusts Jesus, who calls him to follow him. But it is a supernatural trust, a trust that involves not only a human faith, but also, above all, a divine, supernatural faith.
 
How beautiful is the faith of man! How many times a day do we not call upon this virtue, one that is both human and supernatural? When I buy bread at the bakery, I do not first analyze the bread with the help of chemicals and other means of detection in order to find out whether the bread is poisoned. No, I do not do this, and neither do you, for we trust the baker, even if we are only passing through such and such a town. So how beautiful is the faith of man! How beautiful is the faith of Matthew, who leaves everything to follow Him who is rich in mercy!
 
" And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, «Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?» But when he heard it, he said, «Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." (Hosea 6:6) For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.» "
 
Jesus, accompanied by Matthew, returns to a house, which was probably that of one of the town's citizens who had welcomed him into his home. This house must have been quite large, since it was able to receive as guests Jesus, his disciples, a certain number of publicans, that is to say, tax collectors like Matthew, and some of the Pharisees from the neighborhood. We can imagine the reception: a beautiful feast, a good meal, to celebrate the coming of a new disciple, Matthew! If the father of the prodigal son had a fatted calf killed to celebrate the return of his son, how could the Father of Jesus not have provided all that was necessary for the return of Matthew?
 
Of course, there are spoilsports... The Pharisees are there to criticize Jesus, just as the faithful son grumbled against his father who had given a warm welcome to his brother, the prodigal son... Jealousy... What a sickness! It is almost as old as the world: it was at the origin of the first homicide, when Cain killed his brother Abel...
 
Man is sick, sick with jealousy... "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary help us with her motherly prayer, in order that Jesus, our physician, might heal us for eternity!
 

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