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Pope Francis reflects on the calling of St. Matthew

April 13, 2016

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 13 general audience to the calling of St. Matthew.

“Jesus not only invites a tax-collector, a public sinner, to be his disciple, but also sits at table with him, thus scandalizing the Pharisees,” Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “The Lord then explains that he has come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

“The calling of Matthew reminds us that when Christ makes us his disciples, he does not look to our past but to the future,” the Pope continued. “We need but respond to his call with a humble and sincere heart.”

The Pope added:

Jesus invites us to sit with him at the table of the Eucharist, in which he purifies us by the power of his word and by the sacrament unites us ever more deeply to himself. Citing the prophet Hosea, he tells us that what God desires is “mercy, not sacrifice”, true conversion of heart and not merely formal acts of religion. May all of us, acknowledging our sins, respond more generously to the Lord’s invitation to sit at table with him, and with one another, with immense gratitude for his infinite mercy and saving love.


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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Apr. 17, 2016 10:28 PM ET USA

    If he believes sacrifice is not an act of the heart, then he has no understanding of Christianity whatsoever.