Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him.
When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
When I was seventeen going on eighteen I was a senior at Fairfield Prep, a Jesuit high school in Connecticut. I admired my Jesuit teachers for their intelligence, wit, and brotherhood. In time God called me to join them in the Society (more accurately, the Company) of Jesus. I dreamt of becoming a great missionary or theologian or explorer, as Jesuits were then known to be.
In time I came to understand what Matthew realizes in today’s encounter with Our Lord: “I am a sinner, but called to be a companion of Jesus.” Our Jesuit 32nd General Congregation used almost these very words to answer the question: “What does it mean to be a Jesuit today?” Pope Francis uses these words to describe himself. Do they describe you, as well? If so, aren’t you in good company?
Note: While you pray today, you might like to use Caravaggio’s painting, the “Call of St. Matthew,” as your image of reference. Also, click here for a video reflection on the painting by Fr. Jim Grummer, SJ, regional assistant for the US serving at the Jesuit Curia in Rome,
—Fr. Bob Braunreuther, S.J., a New England Jesuit, assists in pastoral ministry at Loyola University Chicago, and is minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit Community.
You are the way, the truth, the life
Without the way there is no going
Without the truth there is no knowing
Without the life there is no growing
Show us the way that we may go
Teach us the truth that we may know
Grant us the life that we may grow
—Ted Tracy, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!