Daily Gospel Reflection: Saturday after Ash Wednesday

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Daily Gospel Reflection: Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Bishop Robert Barron 
February 17, 2024 
Saturday after Ash Wednesday 

Gospel: Lk 5:27-32 

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” 
*United States Conference of Catholic 

Bishop Robert Barron

Friends, today’s Gospel tells the story of the Lord calling Levi, also known as Matthew. As Jesus was passing by, he spotted Matthew at his tax collector’s post. To be a tax collector in Jesus’ time—a Jew collaborating with Rome’s oppression of one’s own people—was to be a contemptible figure. 

Jesus gazed at Matthew and simply said, “Follow me.” Did Jesus invite Matthew because the tax collector merited it? Was Jesus responding to a request from Matthew or some longing in the sinner’s heart? Certainly not. Grace, by definition, comes unbidden and without explanation. 

In Caravaggio’s magnificent painting of this scene, Matthew, dressed anachronistically in sixteenth-century finery, responds to Jesus’ summons by pointing incredulously to himself and wearing a quizzical expression, as if to say, “Me? You want me?” 

Just as creation is ex nihilo, so conversion is a new creation, a gracious remaking of a person from the nonbeing of his sin. Matthew, we are told, immediately got up and followed the Lord.

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HỘI DÒNG NỮ ĐA MINH GÒ VẤP: Daily Gospel Reflection: Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Daily Gospel Reflection: Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Daily Gospel Reflection: Saturday after Ash Wednesday
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