But go and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
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Ap Anselm: He says, “sitting at the receipt of custom,” that is, in the place where the tolls were collected. He was named Telonarius, from a Greek word signifying taxes.
ap Anselm: As a meet return for the heavenly mercy, Matthew prepared a great feast for Christ in his house, bestowing his temporal goods on Him of whom he looked to receive everlasting goods. It follows, “And it came to pass as he satat meat in the house.”.
ap Anselm: The Publicans were they who were engaged in public business, which seldom or never can be carried on without sin. And a beautiful omen of the future, that he that was to be an Apostle and doctor of the Gentiles, at his first conversion draws after him a great multitude of sinners to salvation, already performing by his example what he was shortly to perform by word.
ord.: Tertullian says that these must have been Gentiles, because Scripture says, “There shall be no payer of tribute in Israel,” as if Matthew were not a Jew. But the Lord did not sit down to meat with Gentiles, being more especially careful not to break the Law, as also He gave commandment to His disciples below, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles.”.
ap. Anselm: Yet does not God contemn sacrifice, but sacrifice without mercy. But the Pharisees often offered sacrifices in the temple that they might seem to men to be righteous, but did not practise the deeds of mercy by which true righteousness is proved.
ap. Anselm: Or; Those who were righteous, as Nathanael and John the Baptist, were not to be invited to repentance. Or, “I came not to call the righteous, "that is, the feignedly righteous, those who boasted of their righteousness as the Pharisees, but those that owned themselves sinners.