Call of St Matthew caravaggio.jpg

Matthew collected tolls and customs,
Shunned for his work and his dishonesty, Till one day Jesus stood before him, Looked in his face, and told him, “Follow Me!” All that he’d spent his life acquiring, All that he’d scraped and saved and stopred away, Now was no longer worth desiring, Compared with Jesus, Truth and Life and way.

Some of the righteous were offended
That grace should come to such a sinful man. In hopes their hearts might be amended, Jesus explained so they could understand: “Just as the doctor treats the ailing, And passes by the healthy and the whole, So to the stumbling and the failing
I come to offer healing to the soul.”

Lord God, who chooses the unworthy,
Who once called out to Matthew, “Follow Me!”
Transform our weakness into glory
And our conceit into humility.
Teach us to know–and to believe it–
That Your unchanging love cannot be earned,
But as Your children we receive it
As did the prodigal when he returned.

Come, all in need of hope or healing,
Come, sick and weak, despondent or ashamed,
Come, bitter, faithless and unfeeling,
Turn your steps home again and be reclaimed!
And you, self-righteous and unbending,
Cast off your pride and your hypocrisy.
Come, leave your life for life unending,
As Matthew did when he heard, “Follow Me!”


(Text by Gail Gillispie)