Tag Archives: acceptance

An Eye for What Others Miss

The biographies of Jesus tell a fascinating story about his encounter with a man named Levi Matthew, a tax collector. The evangelist Luke makes a point of stating that Jesus “saw” him. Other people saw him too, but not in the same way.

They saw him the way motorists see the toll booth worker on the turnpike: most took no notice of him. Those who did tried to avoid him. But others looked at him with disgust. He was a tax collector. People have never cared much for the company of tax collectors – then or now. But people working for the IRS are a hundred times more welcome in our day than tax collectors were in Levi’s day.

A tax collector was a citizen of Israel who went to work for Israel’s conquerors, the Romans. He collected tax money from his people and gave it to the Romans to fund the military occupation of their own country. And he did it for money. When people looked at Levi, the more generous saw a greedy and dishonest low-level bureaucrat. Most saw a traitor. The rest just saw a loser.

St. Luke says that Jesus saw Levi Matthew. He had his eye on him. He saw the things other people saw, but he saw something they didn’t see: He saw what Levi Matthew would become. Not a traitor who sold his life for money but a saint who would sacrifice his life for God; not a low-level bureaucrat but a high-level apostle; not a loser but a saint.

It is unlikely that other people saw this. Continue reading

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Don’t Ignore the Past, Believe in the Future

There are two kinds of people at a party. There are those whose words and actions announce, “Here I am!” and those whose words and actions say, “There you are!” The “Here I am” person might be the life of … Continue reading

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