It would certainly seem that Matthew passionately desired wealth. He collected taxes for the hated Roman conquerors. He was seen as collaborating with the enemy. He made himself rich by squeezing taxes out of the Jewish people, both rich and poor, whether by means legal or illegal. The people despised him and ostracized him. He could enter no synagogue; he had to live on the periphery of genteel society. To accept such a life, Matthew must have had a passionate desire for wealth.
Then one day Jesus stops at Matthew’s table. He speaks two brief words to him. “Follow me.” Matthew immediately rises, leaving behind even his passionate desire for wealth and follows Jesus, embracing his simple life-style, his poverty, his total dependence on God for his daily needs. Matthew found a better love than wealth. He spent the rest of his life sharing his newfound love with others.
Like Matthew, we are also called to this task. God wants our lives to reflect Christ and his values.