Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13
Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Today is the feast of St. Matthew, and the Gospel passage—from Matthew—is about Matthew. Big day for all you Matthews out there!
You might think that the Gospel attributed to Matthew might try to portray its namesake in a positive light. But no, here we see Jesus referring to Matthew as one of the “sick” people he comes to heal.
This makes me think about the way I portray myself in the confessional. I love the grace the sacrament of Reconciliation offers, but I spend a lot of energy avoiding the direct confession of my sins. I find myself trying to soften the blow, providing unnecessary context and dramatic narrative arcs for the confessor. Sometimes a little context is helpful, but really, why can’t I just admit, without ornamentation, that I failed to treat my husband with kindness—eighteen times?
Matthew’s example models how to accept the truth of my situation. His Gospel introduction says, “My name is Matthew, and I am a sinner.” That’s humility: accepting the truth. St. Teresa of Avila said, “To be humble is to walk in truth, for it is absolutely true to say we’ve no good thing in ourselves.” And isn’t that what Pope Francis affirmed in one of his very first in-depth interviews? When asked, “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” Pope Francis responded, “I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.”
It’s true that I am a sinner; it is also true that Jesus looks at me with love. How shockingly vulnerable it feels to let someone love me when I am at my worst. And how beautifully intimate.
How do I feel when I consider that Jesus loves me not despite the fact that I sin, but he loves me as I sin?
Lord Jesus, come to me now. It’s tempting to make myself look presentable before calling on you, but that’s a ruse. I need you here in my joys and my sorrows, in whatever mess I find myself at this very moment. Heal me.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Grace Mazza Urbanski