Feast of Saint Matthew
Malvern Minute

 

Feast of Saint Matthew

Apostle and Evangelist

September 21, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA

 

Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13

Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5

Matthew 9:9-13

 

There is a story about a young woman who was addicted to controlled substances.  Her cravings were so great that they led her to a life of crime by stealing and even prostituting herself in order to satisfy her drug habit.  One day, in her mid-twenties, by mistake she walked into a storefront church and became attracted to the music and singing during the service.  She began to experience, for the first time in her life, the hope that God may actually be real.  She found herself praying and asking for God’s forgiveness.  From that moment on, she said, she no longer craved drugs.  She had experienced the wonderful free gift which we know as the Mercy of God, and lived to tell the story.  Praise God!

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.  As a perfect segue to the story I told you is today’s Gospel account from Saint Matthew himself as one who has lived the “Great Mercy of God,” and lived to tell the story. 

In his former life, he was a tax collector and had taken money from people to give to an occupying force, the Roman Empire.  He, as was all tax collectors, were not loved nor respected by Jesus’ community.  In fact, they were despised. 

His account of being invited to share in the table fellowship of Jesus goes well beyond the Pharisee’s question to the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  It even goes beyond Jesus’ answer, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.”  This Gospel account alone has Jesus press further with a quote from Hosea, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”

Matthew’s take on Jesus, from one who was sick himself, is of the bountiful mercy of a healing God, which is expressed through the attentive personal presence of Jesus.  As I mentioned earlier, Matthew has lived the Mercy of God, and lived to tell the awesome and personal story for others to follow.

Friends, Jesus found Matthew, and finds us, exactly where we are in life.  We must hear and heed his voice as he beckons to all of us, “Follow Me!”  When we do, we can all live the Great Mercy. 

Question of the Day:  Will you seek God’s mercy and love through the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

Prayer:  O God, who with untold mercy was pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, a tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example of intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you.  Amen.

Prosit

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