St. Matthew used the spoken and written word to share the Good News
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. Matthew (September 21, 2018): 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.
When Jesus selected Matthew the tax collector to become one of the Twelve, He clearly shocked many people.
The Pharisees were especially outraged when Matthew invited Jesus and His closest followers, as well as his own friends, to dine with him. The Pharisees could not grasp that this itinerant preacher would dare associate with sinners. But Christ used the opportunity to teach them about Himself and about the Kingdom of God. “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” (Matthew 9:12-13).
Jesus never said that sin does not matter. On the contrary, He wanted all who follow Him to turn away from whatever interferes with their relationship with Him. But mercy matters more – the mercy He gives us and the mercy He wants us to offer to one another. Matthew gave up his old way of life to serve our Lord. He shared the Good News first by preaching and then by writing one of the Gospels. Nothing specific is known about St. Matthew’s life after Pentecost, but tradition says that he may have been martyred for the faith in Persia (now Iran) or Ethiopia.
Suggested missionary action: Let us pray to St. Matthew, asking him to help us listen more closely to the message of the Gospel and to spend time on our own reading a little Scripture every day, particularly from this evangelist.