Gospel of Matthew 9:9-13 Reflection:
Today's gospel contains one of those stories that we all find hard to believe. Jesus is walking along and sees Matthew and says 'follow me.' Matthew just drops everything and follows him.
Over the years people have come up with all sorts of theories about this story; Matthew was a secret follower all along, Matthew had had a previous encounter with Jesus and there are many more.
But look at the story as it is for a moment; Jesus comes face to face with a man and calls him to conversion. Jesus says directly to the man, 'this is a time of choice, I am passing now, do you choose me or do you stay where you are?'
In a dramatic sense Matthew drops all and follows Jesus. It is so dramatic that it is recorded forever and celebrated in paintings by great artists over the years. And most of us find it hard to believe.
And yet every day, sometimes more than once, the same thing happens to us; Jesus passes by in some way and says 'follow me.'
We may not be called to a dramatic conversion like Matthew, but we are called to a series of little conversions, which shall add up to a big conversion in time.
The only difference between what Matthew was called to do and what we are called to do is that poor old Matthew was given only one chance.
He took his chance. Oh, how often we dither!