Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist - September 21, 2022

Posted by Team Missio on Sep 21, 2022 2:12:16 PM


On this feast of St. Matthew, we salute the life and contributions of a tax collector... 

Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Matthew (September 21, 2022): EPH 4:1-7,11-13; PS 19:2-3-4-5; MT 9:9-13

MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.

a man much despised by his neighbors, who heard and heeded Jesus’ invitation: ‘Follow Me.’

Today’s Gospel reading recounts how Jesus stunned people by doing the opposite of what they considered the right thing. Whatever reasons He had for choosing His Apostles, our Lord knew He wanted Matthew. This was true despite the fact that he was a tax collector working for the Romans who had taken over the land of his Jewish people. And, even though he was probably forcing taxpayers to give him a share as well, Jesus still wanted him. When He said “Follow Me,” Matthew did not hesitate. Like other Apostles and disciples before and after him, Matthew somehow knew that Christ was extraordinary -- and that he would receive from Him something lacking in his life. In the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, we hear from another unlikely convert to the compassion and forgiveness of Jesus. “Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. And He gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelist, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 4:7,11-13). We cannot know precisely what God plans for us, but if like Matthew, our hearts are open we will always find His mercy.  

After the crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, Matthew became a missionary just as the other Apostles did. It is believed that he was martyred for the faith in Ethiopia. While many scholars no longer think that the Apostle Matthew was also the writer of the Gospel of that name, that book continues to be a singular gift to Christians. For example, only in the infancy narrative of Matthew do we find reference to the star of Bethlehem, the Magi, the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt or the terrible massacre of the Holy Innocents. Let us also pause and find comfort and courage in Jesus’ words when He commissioned His disciples, found in the very last line of St. Matthew’s Gospel, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  

Suggested missionary action:  We can ask St. Matthew to pray for the continuing efforts of the Pontifical Mission Society and all of the Church’s missionaries. We can also seek his intercession for the men, women, and children they help all over the earth. 

Topics: Scripture reflection, Lent, Easter, Resurrection


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