The Word Among Us

Mass Reading & Meditation for September 21, 2023 View another date

Meditation: Matthew 9:9-13

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Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (Feast)

Entrance Antiphon

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you,
says the Lord. Cf. Mt 28:19-20

Gloria

(When it is prescribed, this hymn is either said or sung:)

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good...

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Daily Meditation: Matthew 9:9-13

He said to him, “Follow me.” (Matthew 9:9)

As he traveled from place to place ministering to people, Jesus one day passed by a customs post. There he saw Matthew collecting taxes. But instead of seeing a man most respectable Jews would avoid, he saw a would-be disciple.

Matthew knew who this rabbi was, but he was keenly aware of the distance between himself and God, so he dismissed any thoughts of Jesus from his mind. How shocked he must have been, then, when Jesus walked right up to him, looked him in the eye, and said, “Follow me” (Matthew 9:9)! In an instant, the distance between Matthew and God had disappeared. From then on, he would faithfully follow Jesus.

On this feast day of St. Matthew, remember this scene and take courage from it: you do not have to prove yourself before saying yes to the Lord! When Jesus calls you, all you have to do is respond as Matthew did: “Yes, I will follow you.” Whatever you need, you will learn on the way. The Lord in his goodness will supply whatever you are lacking.

Notice that once he committed himself to Jesus, Matthew didn’t waste any time. He immediately connected his friends to Jesus (Matthew 9:10), and he continued doing so as an apostle and evangelist. After Jesus’ resurrection, he ministered to his fellow Jews in Judea; later, tradition holds, he preached the gospel in Ethiopia and Persia. Eventually he was martyred, but the Gospel that bears his name continues to live on in the Church and in the hearts of countless followers down through the centuries.

Just as he did for Matthew, Jesus calls people before their lives are changed. As he told the Pharisees who objected that day, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:13).

So imagine Jesus passing by your home, classroom, or work site today. He stops and calls you to follow him. Don’t worry if you think you aren’t worthy to be his disciple; recommit yourself to him just as you are. Then trust that Jesus will give you all that you need to be his faithful follower.

“Jesus, I say yes to your call today.”

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 19:2-5

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