St Matthew, apostle of Jesus, pray for us
ST MATTHEW, APOSTLE & EVANGELIST : Thursday 21st September 2023
Eph. 4:1-7,11-13; Ps. 18:2-3,4-5;
Mt. 9:9-13 (Ps. Wk. IV)
Today as we celebrate the feast of St Matthew, an Apostle and evangelist, we recall the amazing way God calls Matthew to discipleship and gives him the apostolate tasks of writing, teaching, preaching and healing. Matthew, a tax collector, is viewed as a traitor and outcast. He violated the Jewish faith by working with the Roman colonial power to collect taxes from their own people and continued their oppression.
However, Jesus sees in Matthew his potential and giftedness, as well as his readiness and openness to respond to His call “Follow Me”. Leaving behind his past, Matthew establishes a new personal relationship with Jesus and writes the Gospel account presenting Jesus as the promised Messiah fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies.
The call to discipleship and a specific vocation in life is not based on one’s righteousness but God’s mercy and gratuitous gift. As in the Letters to the Ephesians, St. Paul reaffirms that as we live our Christian life responding to the grace of God, we grow in maturity of faith; and we will be eager to preserve the unity of the Spirit with humility, patience, and love in whatever ministry we are called to participate in. All the gifts and talents invested in these ministries help to build up the Body of Christ and share in His redemptive work.
Lord, despite the ups and downs of life, may we live in harmony with one another and remain at peace, that only, the Risen Lord can give. Amen.