Tuesday September 21 20021
St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist - Feast
Eph. 4:1-7,11-13; Ps. 18:2-3,4-5;
Mt. 9:9-13 (Ps Wk I)
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul exhorts his readers to lead lives worthy of their Christian calling. He calls upon them to preserve the unity of the Spirit. This unity, where they form the Body of Christ, is manifested in their hope in the one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. In this Body, each individual has been given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. In addition, it is Christ who has given the church its leaders. They are responsible for equipping the holy ones for ministry, that is, for service and the upbuilding of Christ’s body, as well as the formation of perfect and mature persons, wholly grown in the fullness of Christ.
When Jesus called the tax collector, Matthew, and dined with other tax collectors and sinners, he did so for three reasons. Firstly, it is the spiritually sick who need him. Secondly, he came to show God’s mercy. Thirdly, he came to call sinners to conversion. In other words, Jesus demonstrated a radical newness by which a person has to be viewed. Mercy defines Jesus’ messianic mission. He comes to invite sinners and those who think they are excluded from the banquet of mercy. The ‘righteous’ do not need a special invitation since they know the Scriptures so well. Today, we celebrate the feast of Matthew, and we are reminded once again that God, through Christ and in the Spirit, is constantly calling and bringing His people together. God's invitation is open to everyone willing to listen and live according to His will.
Lord, grant me the grace to accept Your invitation to follow Your Son, Jesus.
The Gospels do not hesitate to put us followers of Jesus in a bad light. We, represented by the disciples, can be so dense that we miss something that evil demons know and that even a blind man can see. That is, that Jesus is the presence of the Reign of God among us.