“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9: 9-13
Jesus paid special attention to the people in society whom everyone else had written off- the lowest of the low, those thought to be beyond help or simply just not liked very much. And he didn't just run into them by chance. He sought them out, specifically.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Matthew, one of those on the perimeter of society whom Jesus sought out. He chose this tax collector to be one of his closest friends, not out of pity, but out of love.
Jesus saw Matthew in his truest identity- a son of his Father. He saw his inherent goodness, his talents, and his worthiness. He chose to love him, not for anything he did or didn’t do, but for the love that had already been given to him from his Father.
"It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." (Matthew 9: 12)
It is not the popular who need a friend, but the lonely.
It is not the outgoing who need inclusion, but the timid.
It is not the pleasant who need kindness, but the difficult.
Who in your life could use some seeking out today? Is it a coworker? A student? A stranger in the grocery store?
How can we try to see them as God does and give them the love that he’s already given?
"Christ has no body but yours,
no hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which He looks compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are His body. Christ has no body now but yours..."— St. Teresa of Ávila