Saturday of the First Week of Ordinary Time
Saint Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor (d. 367)Blessed Virgin MaryReadings of the day: RB 2:23-29Mass: 1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1a; Resp. Psalm 21; Mark 2:13-17
While studying in Rome, one of my favorite walkabouts included the area of Via della Scrofa. Things were happening there, not unlike most places in the eternal city, yet I used to stop now and again at San Luigi dei Francesi to look at Caravaggio paintings. Caravaggio is one of my favorite artists; an artist whose work I seek out.
Not unrelated, I include here part of an interview with Pope Francis, conducted by A. Spadaro, SJ, published in America magazine, September 30, 2013. What follows are the Holy Father’s comments about not knowing Rome very well.‘I know St. Mary Major, St. Peter’s...but when I had to come to Rome, I always stayed in [the neighborhood of] Via della Scrofa. From there I often visited the Church of St. Louis of France, and I went there to contemplate the painting of “The Calling of St. Matthew” by Caravaggio.’‘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. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff.’ Then the pope whispers in Latin: ‘I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance.’
I reflect now on whether I think Jesus is pointing at me, or am I so full of myself and ‘well’ to think that Jesus is pointing at others, namely, all the sinners and sick people.Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.