Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s readings give us a great juxtaposition and opportunity. Here, we can see two great men of faith who lived their lives following God’s call, one at the beginning of his life, the other at the end. In the Roman Canon of the Mass, we call Abraham “our father in faith, and in the first reading we see a small sample of why. Abraham, at the end of his life, having experienced many blessings from God, sends his servant to get a wife for his son. The wife must be from their homeland, and the son may not go back. This is a tall order, and the servant is understandably hesitant, but Abraham has time and again experienced the power of God’s care, and entrusts the future of his family to it.
Matthew, by contrast, has only just been called by God. As a tax collector, up to that point he would probably not have had the deepest of spiritual lives. Men in his line of work collaborated with foreign occupiers and preyed on the financially vulnerable ikn order to make themselves rich– the Bernie Madoffs of their day. Matthew’s firsthand knowledge of God’s providence would likely have been dim, at best. But as soon as Jesus is challenged on His calling of Matthew as a disciple, He says that it is precisely men such as Matthew that He has come to care for. Matthew’s life is not an after-thought for God, but something of the utmost priority, something that was true even in the midst of Matthew’s martyrdom. At various times in our lives, we too may be called in ways that are surprising, sudden, or even dangerous. At all times, however, we can take comfort from the examples of Abraham and Matthew in knowing that we are never alone, and always cared for by God as we live out His call in our lives.