One Minute Reflection – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist- Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:9–13
“Follow me”.. Matthew 9:9
REFLECTIONS – “Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office and he said to him: “Follow me.” He looked at him not with the eyes of the body but rather with the eye of interior pity. He saw a tax collector, and since He looked at him in pity and choosing him as a disciple, He said: “Follow me.” ‘Follow’ meant ‘imitate’ – not by the movement of his feet but rather by a change of life. For whoever says he is following Christ “ought himself to walk as Christ walked” (cf 1Jn ).
“Matthew rose and followed him.” It is not to be wondered at that the tax collector should leave the earthly gains he was looking after at the first command of the Lord and that, abandoning riches, he should join the company of Him who, he saw, had no wealth. For the Lord, who outwardly called him with words, through a hidden instinct secretly taught him to follow Him. By the gift of divine grace the Lord enlightened his mind to understand that He who on earth called him away from temporal interests, could in heaven give incorruptible treasures (cf Mt 6,20).
“And as Jesus sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.” The conversion of one tax collector provided an example of penance and forgiveness to many tax collectors and sinners. In a wonderful and true sign of the future, he who was to become the apostle and teacher of the gentiles, brought with him to salvation, a multitude of sinners in the first moments of his conversion!” ... Saint Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father & Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the gospels I, 21 ; CCL 122, 149
PRAYER – Lord, You showed Your great mercy to Matthew the tax-gatherer by calling him to become Your Apostle. Supported by his prayer and example, may we always answer Your call and live in close union with You. We make our prayer, in union with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. St Matthew, Apostle of Christ, pray for us, amen.