6 July 2018
When I read this Gospel, I immediately think of a beautiful painting by Caravaggio – The Calling of Matthew. Caravaggio’s art captures the instant when Christ’s gaze calls Matthew to an entirely new life.
Christ’s feet are already pointing towards the door – Matthew must make a quick decision to follow him.
The cost of following Jesus, for Matthew, was significant. Similar to Zacchaeus, he was despised by his community. However, within months of this encounter, Matthew is an apostle, witnessing Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension.
If you take another look at the Caravaggio’s painting, you will see two men on the left side of the picture continuing to work. They are seemingly unaware of Christ’s presence. Before them is the Lamb of God, the Word made flesh and yet they are so engrossed in what occupies them that they cannot even lift their eyes.
Jesus’ invitation to Matthew undoubtedly remains the most urgent invitation in our time.
How do our lives change when we encounter the merciful gaze of Christ? How do our hearts convert when we realize Christ is present?
I pray we all can turn to His loving merciful gaze and say “Yes, I will follow”