Tag Archives: St Matthew

Saint Matthew

Saint Matthew from Canterbury Codex AureusToday’s liturgical memorial highlights an important aspect of putting oneself under God’s authority and how everything is not as expected. Most people believe that they should be assigned roles in the community of faith (or any other community for that matter) based on experience and training. Sound sensible? Well, not according Jesus. What we see in Jesus certain ministerial arrangements of the Twelve Apostles and their talents we not as expected. Saint Matthew’s experience of managing money (he was a former tax collector) was not used. Jesus appointed Judas, not Saint Matthew, to be in charge of the money. How often this happens in the ministry of the Church! Bishops and religious superiors often ask their subjects to things that they may not have been trained for, or even have the desire to do. Clearly this is a helpful lesson to all tempted to be troubled over how they aren’t used as they should be (humanly speaking)!

What does the feast of Saint Matthew mean for the Church? This feast of Matthew indicates that if we say we place our lives into the hands of God, then we need to expect the unexpected and trust that Someone greater than ourselves may have a deeper insight into our humanity than we have for ourselves. Christ is the Divine Being who knows us better than we know ourselves! Think of Psalm 139. How freeing it can be if we allow the Lord to take the lead and truly guide our hearts and minds and hands for His greater glory and not our own! I think it is a beautiful experience to allow God’s grace to open a new vista of what it means to be a disciple of the Lord who comes to offer new life (a new ministry?) through another person so that the default answer to a question of Christian life is positive rather than the typical negative. Saint Matthew’s experience in the very early community of faith is very instructive for us who believe that we are our own measures. Can you imagine abundance? Can you imagine doing something new and exciting that you’ve never thought of before now?

Saint Matthew

St Matthew VCampi.jpgO God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as
an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his
example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you.

Pope Benedict said today,

the author of the first of the four Gospels, was a publican – a tax-collector –
and the story of his call to become an Apostle reminds us that Christ excludes
no one from his friendship. Tax-collectors were considered public sinners, and
we can hear an echo of the scandal caused by the Lord’s decision to associate
with such men in his declaration that he came “not to call the just but
sinners”  (Mt 2:17). 

This is
the heart of the “good news” which Jesus came to bring: the offer of
God’s grace to sinners! The parable of the publican in the Temple makes this
same point: by humbly acknowledging their sins and accepting God’s mercy, even
those who seem farthest from holiness can become first in the Kingdom of

So, there’s hope for  me (us).

Saint Matthew, apostle

San Matteo.jpg

Matthew was an accomplished scribe, well versed in the law of God. With all his heart he studied the law of the Lord, with whose help he lived as he taught. The gospel of the glory of God is Matthew’s. With all his heart he studied the law of the Lord, with whose help he lived as he taught.  (Responsory, Office of Readings)

The first reading from the New Testament for the feast of the Apostle Saint Matthew is stunningly beautiful Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a truly a love letter to the Church and this selection fittingly captures what it means to be an apostle of the Lord. Consider….

“I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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