Saint Matthew, whose feast day is celebrated today, was an example of someone who turned his life around. This never would have happened had Jesus pre-judged him and not reached out to him. Matthew was a tax collector, which was a reviled career in the time of Jesus. Not only did they collect taxes, they also did so for the Roman Empire, hated by most Jews of the period. And, to add even more revulsion, tax collectors made money for themselves by demanding even more money from people.
Today it is easy to give up on people or assume they just won’t be open to our message. Thankfully Jesus didn’t assume people were “too bad” or “too whatever” to accept his message.
The beauty of the saints is that they are, in substance, really just human beings. If you took their pulses, measured their breathing, and so forth, you would find only human characteristics. However, as saints, transformed in Christ, they provide us with “before” and “after” pictures of our lives (and saints are never completely perfect…so some “before” always sticks around, a point of comfort for the rest of us). Saint Matthew, pray for us!