The Calling of Matthew

 

« I? Master, Lord! But do You know who I am? I am saying that for Your sake, not for mine… »

– Matthew, to Jesus’ order to follow him

 

97.   They arrive in the square. Jesus goes straight to the taxation counter where Matthew is making up his accounts and checking the coins, which he divides into various denominations and puts into bags of different colors, and then into a metal coffer, which two servants are waiting to take elsewhere. As soon as the shadow of Jesus’ tall figure appears on the bench, Matthew looks up to see who is the late taxpayer. In the meantime Peter, pulling Jesus by His sleeve, says: « There is no payment to be made, Master. What are You doing? »

But Jesus does not listen to him. He stares at Matthew who has risen to his feet immediately in a reverent attitude. A further piercing glance. But it is not the glance of a severe judge, as the last time. It is a glance of a call and love. It enraptures him and fills him with love. Matthew blushes. He does not know what to do or what to say…

« Matthew, son of Alphaeus, your hour is striking. Come. Follow Me! » orders Jesus majestically.

« I? Master, Lord! But do You know who I am? I am saying that for Your sake, not for mine… »

« Come, follow Me, Matthew, son of Alphaeus » He repeats more kindly.

« Oh! How can I have found grace before God? I… I… »

« Matthew, son of Alphaeus, I have seen into your heart. Come, follow Me. » This third invitation is a caress.

« Oh! At once, my Lord! » and Matthew, weeping, comes out from behind the counter, without bothering to pick up the coins spread over it or to close the coffer. Nothing. « Where are we going, my Lord? » he asks when he is near Jesus. « Where are You taking me? »

« To your house. Will you give hospitality to the Son of man? »

« Oh!… but… but what will those who hate You say? »

« I listen to what is said in Heaven and they are saying there: “Glory be to God for a sinner, who is being saved!” and the Father says: “Mercy will rise forever in Heaven and will hover over the earth, and since I love you with an eternal perfect love, I will have mercy also on you.” Come…»

The Visions of Maria Valtorta

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