Mercy and grace

– Feast of Saint Matthew –

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew 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 the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, 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, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” [Matthew 9:9-13]

The gospel presents us with such a beautiful invitation today. 

Here is Matthew, his sin and brokenness is out there for all to see.  He’s been labelled and judged by so many and yet, in this moment Jesus is drawing him into God’s life-changing mercy and grace.  Can you imagine what sweet surrender Matthew experienced as he laid it all down to receive the love and healing of Christ?

‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick’, says Jesus to the Pharisees.  Ironically, Matthew and his tax collector friends are not the only ones in the scene who are sick.  Though they hide their ‘sickness’ under layers of sacrifice and ritual, the Pharisees are certainly in need of God’s mercy and grace as much as Matthew.

And so are we.

Lord Jesus, give me the grace today to acknowledge the parts of me that are in need of your healing and grace.   Help me surrender to you and open my heart to receive your love and mercy again today.

by Chantale Wilson

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