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Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist


Gospel Mt 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”


REFLECTION

St. Matthew the Apostle, or the Evangelist, is thought to be also known as Levi. He was born in Nazareth and was a Galilean. Matthew, which means Yahweh's Gift, his Christian name, and Levi whom Mark called him, was the son of Alphaeus. Levi was a Jew and a tax collector for Herod. Matthew assumed his Christian name after he met Jesus.


The calling of St. Matthew is told in both the Gospels of Matthew 9:9 and Mark 2:14. Jesus shocked the Jewish leaders by calling and then eating with a despised group of people, tax collectors. They were thought of as traitors to the Jewish people because they would usually cheat them. Thus they became wealthy from overcharging their own people. Therefore, the scribes and Pharisees called them "sinners."


Jesus heard that the Pharisees were asking His disciples questions about His mingling with this unsavory crowd. So, Jesus replies, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Jesus gives the Pharisees some homework! He tells them to go and find out the meaning of "I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." What does Jesus mean? Even those who seem to be outside of the Law have a chance at redemption? Is it because Jesus brings mercy to all who will follow Him? Matthew followed Jesus. He is Jewish, but he is not, as far as the Pharisees could see, living by the Law of Moses. So, Jesus implies that Matthew is a sinner and deserves mercy.


Matthew was an eye-witness to the life of Jesus, as were Peter, James, and John, yet not as close to Jesus as Peter, James, and John. In his Gospel he is the only Evangelist who gives us the Sermon on the Mount and shares the eight Beatitudes and the new commandment to love one another. In his Gospel Matthew wants to prove that Jesus was true God and true man. The first chapter of Matthew's Gospel gives the lineage of Jesus and then in verse 18 explains Jesus' Incarnation.( Matthew 1:1-18)

As a man who was exact in counting taxes, he (if he is truly the author) gives a thorough accounting of the life of Jesus in his Gospel.


St. Matthew is seen in paintings with wings or an angel at his side. This is because he wrote the genealogy of Jesus and about Jesus' Incarnation and provides the evidence that Jesus has two natures that of true God and true man.


St. Matthew left his career as a tax collector and followed Jesus. Money did not make St. Matthew rich, but his faith in Jesus did!


Let us pray that we too follow Jesus. Join us in praying the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

God bless you!





Σχόλια


PAPA Foundation
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