“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew.” – Pope Francis

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Today is the feast of St Matthew. It just so happens that today I decided to read the full interview with Pope Francis in America magazine that everyone’s been talking about. Right at the beginning of the interview the Pope talks about the Caravaggio painting of the Calling of St Matthew and how it relates to his own calling:

“That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew.” Here the pope becomes determined, as if he had finally found the image he was looking for: “It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze.”

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The collect, or prayer for today, seems to reflect these thoughts of the Pope:

O Almighty God
whose blessèd Son called Matthew the tax-collector
to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain
and the possessive love of riches
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Something to muse on: am I like Matthew in this painting? Yes. I’m a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze.

Image from wikimedia.

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