A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, September 21, 2006


So, you go up to the guy and you tell him that he’s gotta give you such and such amount of money and if he doesn’t, you’re going to take his stuff or take his family or tie him up and take him someplace until his relatives cough up the dough. It’s a pretty sweet racket, because you get a big piece of the action: as big as you want. You can live like a king and all you got to do is put the squeeze on the people in your territory.

That is what it was like to be a tax collector in the time of Christ: more like a gangster than a dedicated public servant.

Not only were tax collectors generally corrupt, decadent, and ruthless: they were ultimately collecting taxes to fund the very same regime that was cruelly oppressing the people.

Hence the scandal of Christ calling a tax collector (technically, collecting customs duties) to be one of his key disciples.

Needless to say, it proved to be an excellent choice. Levi, also known as Matthew, would not only be a successful Apostle, but would be responsible for the Gospel that stands at the beginning of the New Testament canon: a Gospel that strove eloquently to make clear to his fellow Jews that the Messiah had come in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

St. Matthew is a reminder to us all of how successful repentance can be.

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.

(from an earlier post)