MONDAY, September 21 Saint Matthew

Matthew 9:9-13. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples.

Today is the feast of Saint Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector when Jesus called him to be a disciple. In those days, tax collectors were despised. But rather than looking down on them, Jesus took time to sharea meal with these whom the world rejected.

This act made an impression on the Pharisees, and they criticized Jesus. That gave him the opportunity to signal loud and clear the direction of his ministry: “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” It is easy to sup with friends, with those of good reputation, with people of honor. But they are not the people who need to know that God accepts and blesses them.

This passage is important for two reasons. First, it reminds us that no matter who we are, Jesus calls us to follow him. This happens when we are baptized. Second, it tells us that once called (baptized), we know among whom we, his disciples, are to spend our time.

PRAY for the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham (York, England)

Ps 119:33-40; Proverbs 3:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:14-17

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