One Minute Reflection – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist- Readings: Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-13; Psalm 19: 2-5; Matthew 9: 9-13
“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.” – Matthew 9:9
REFLECTION – “It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. There are four zones of the world in which we live and four principal winds and the Church is scattered throughout all the world and her “pillar and ground” (1 Tm 3:15) is the Gospel and the Spirit of life; therefore, it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side and vivifying us afresh. The Word, the Shaper of all things, Who sits upon the cherubim and upholds all things (Ps 79:2; Heb 1:3), Who was manifested to men, has given us the Gospel under four aspects but bound together by One Spirit. David says, when entreating this manifestation, “You that sit between the cherubim, shine forth.”(Ps 79:2) For the cherubim, too, were four-faced (Ez 1:6) and their faces were images of the dispensation of the Son of God.
For, as Scripture says, “The first living creature was like a lion,” (Rev 4:7) symbolising His effectual working, His leadership and royal power; “the second was like a calf,” signifying His sacrificial and priestly order but, “the third had, as it were, the face as of a man,” – an evident description of His coming as a human being; “the fourth was like a flying eagle,” pointing out the gift of the Spirit hovering with its wings over the Church. And, therefore, the Gospels of John, Luke, Matthew and Mark are in accord with these living things, among which Christ Jesus is seated. …
Such was the form of the living creatures, so was also the character of the Word of God Himself – the Word of God Himself conversed with the patriarchs before Moses, in accordance with His divinity and glory but, for those under the law, He instituted a priestly and liturgical service. Afterwards, being made Man for us, He sent the gift of the Spirit over all the earth, protecting us with His Wings (Ps 16:8). … These things being so, all who reject the form the Gospel has taken – that is, those who say the Gospels should be more or fewer in number – are futile, ignorant, and presumptuous.” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 130-c 202) Bishop, Theologian and Martyr – (Against Heresies c. Book III, 11, 8-9).
PRAYER – We thank You, heavenly Father,
for the witness of Your Apostle
and Evangelist, Matthew,
to the Gospel of Your Son, our Saviour
and we pray that, after his example,
we may with ready wills and hearts,
obey the calling of our Lord, to follow Him;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.