Posted September 20, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

Feast of Saint Matthew

那時候,耶穌從葛法翁前行,看見一個人在稅關那裏坐著,名叫瑪竇,對他說:「跟隨我!」他就起來跟隨了耶穌。當耶穌在屋裏坐席時,有許多稅吏和罪人也來同耶穌和他的門徒一起坐席。法利塞人看見,就對他的門徒說:「你們的老師為什麼同稅吏和罪人一起進食呢?」耶穌聽見了,就說:「不是健康的人需要醫生,而是有病的人。你們去研究一下:『我喜歡仁愛勝過祭獻』,是什麼意思;我不是來召義人,而是來召罪人。」
瑪竇福音 9:9-13

Calling of Saint Matthew

耶穌十二個宗徒之一瑪竇,又名肋未,原是一個稅吏,來自葛法翁城。當時的稅吏都是不受歡迎,因他們多數是受聘於羅馬人的猶太人,向自己的人民收稅,所以遭受歧視。

耶穌卻沒有介意瑪竇的身份,召叫他成為自己的宗徒;祂也與許多稅吏和罪人一起坐席。法利塞人看見後作出詢問時,耶穌的回應是:「不是健康的人需要醫生,而是有病的人。」祂把義人比喻為健康的人,罪人比喻為有病的人,祂自己為醫生;祂很清楚誰是最需要祂的人。祂來,是為召叫罪人悔改,回歸天主的羊棧。法利塞人在乎別人的過去和身份,耶穌卻在乎人對祂的回應,以及他們將來願為祂付出多少。瑪竇如其他門徒一樣,一聽見耶穌的召叫,就放下一切跟隨祂,可見他擁有耶穌看重的特點。

耶穌也提醒我們,天主喜歡仁愛勝過祭獻,所以跟隨祂的人,也要學習祂一樣實踐仁愛。

相傳瑪竇後來編寫新約聖經的第一卷書《瑪竇福音》,並曾在東方傳教,最後為主殉道。

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Matthew 9:9-13

Matthew is one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, who is also known as Levi. Before becoming a disciple, he was a tax collector from Capernaum. He had very bad reputation just like all other tax collectors, because they’re mostly Jews who helped Romans collect taxes from their own people.

Jesus however did not mind Matthew’s status, and called him to be His disciple. He also ate with a lot of tax collectors and sinners. When the Pharisees questioned about this, Jesus replied, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.” He likened the righteous men as healthy people, while sinners as those who are sick, to indicate which are the ones He came for: He “did not come to call the righteous but sinners”, because they’re the ones who need to repent and reconcile with God.

Pharisees focused on people’s past and identity, but Jesus looks at people’s potential in responding to Him and their future. Matthew, like other disciples, once being called by Christ, left everything to follow Him. This is an example showing that although Matthew was still a sinner, he has a potential that Jesus sees and values.

Jesus also reminded us that God desire mercy not sacrifice, therefore as His followers we should also be merciful like Him.

According to tradition, Matthew wrote the first gospel in the New Testament, evangelized in the East and died as a martyr.


FLL Editorial Team