Wednesday, September 21, 2016

St. Matthew who was a sinner: Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

This is the first time that I wrote my homily on my blog!  This writing helps me to learn again how to write well.  This recommendation was from my speech therapist and I will strive to add homilies as I continue to grow.  (Thank you for Sarah Monahan SLP-CCC at Rainy Lake Medical Center).          

             It is a great feast for St. Matthew today.  Matthew was one of the twelve apostles for Jesus Christ.  He was one of the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  He was one in our first group of martyrs. 
            This morning, we listened how St. Mathew wrote about himself.  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.”
            I wonder what Matthew was thinking about when Jesus met him.  What he recorded was a simple conversation—“Follow me…he got up and followed him”—while Matthew might have had many thoughts, or simply one.
            I spoke recently about Jesus’ relationship with sinful brothers and sisters; he always visited the sinners.  Matthew was not only a sinner but also a tax collector.  These men were brutal to the Israelites, as they stole money for themselves, lied, collected the taxes and were crooked.  Yet Jesus went to Matthew’s house!
            Matthew continued to write his experience: “The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’”  Jesus’ answer: “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.”
            The readings today came from the lectionary through the feast of St. Matthew.  St. Paul wrote a similar line from Jesus: “But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”  Jesus calls whom he wants to call.  These sinners followed him and continue to today.
            Paul continues in his writing to the Ephesians: “And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ…”  Matthew was an apostle and an evangelist.
            Jesus calls each of us for a mission.  Perhaps this means apostles, prophets, pastors or teachers.  Perhaps it is what we are called today as families, parents, employees or volunteers.
            Jesus began with a few apostles and disciples.  St. Matthew changed as a sinner and tax-collector to an apostle, the writer of the Gospel through Matthew, which our world reads to this day.  Now we have 1.2 billion brothers and sisters around the world.
            How has Jesus called you to follow him?  What must you leave behind?  What is your mission?  Today, continue to follow our savior, especially like the life and vocation from St. Matthew.

Listen to the homily here.

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