What greater example of God’s mercy toward sinners than the invitation to the tax collector, Matthew, to become a follower of Jesus?
Saint Bede the Venerable, an English monk of the seventh and eighth centuries, said, “Jesus saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him.”
The tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as Jesus invited him. He joined a band of men whose leader had no riches at all.
Mathew immediately took Jesus into his home and arranged a party, inviting the only friends he had—other tax collectors and sinners.
As they sat at the banquet table, Pharisees pointed an accusing finger. But Jesus said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Sharing a meal—breaking bread together—is one of the most intimate things we do as humans. When Jesus sat and ate with Matthew, it was a signal of His great mercy toward sinners, and an invitation to us to sit with Him at the Communion Table.
Our prayer today: Matthew gave a banquet at his earthly residence for you Lord. Grant that I set a pleasing banquet for you in my heart through my faith and love.
(”The Calling of Saint Matthew” by Andrey Mironov)