God of mercy, You chose a tax collector, St. Matthew, to share the dignity of the Apostles. By his example and prayers, help us to follow Christ and remain faithful in Your service. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Dear Levi, now known as Matthew, you were first a publican, a tax collector, and then a gatherer of souls for Christ after immediately following His call. Later you wrote wonderful accounts of your Jewish brethren of what Jesus, descendant of David, said and did as Teacher and Savior.
Make all accountants imitate your example in giving careful and honest accounts. Amen.
On this Feast of St. Matthew let us give honor to our Savior by confessing our sins to Him and rejoicing in His forgiveness. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, the heavenly Physician and Savior of sinners.
In the man Matthew we see who Jesus wants, who He came for.
He came for sinners.
He came for sinners.
He came for those who are so weighed down with their sins that they see no way out, no way to change, no hope for their lives.
The day that Matthew was called was probably not the first time Matthew had seen Jesus . But then, Jesus called to him: “Follow Me.” And, to those who were shocked at this, He said: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” It is precisely such unworthy sinners as Matthew, and only such unworthy sinners as Matthew, that Jesus calls as His followers.
Jesus is most close to us when we are the most sinful – not when we go out and sin without thought or care, for this is being hard-headed and rebellious, and is offensive to God; but when we know we are unworthy of God and confess that there is nothing good in us. Jesus is the Savior of sinners, and this is why we humbly confess our sins. He is closest to us when we so confess. Jesus is also most honored by our simple confession of sins and trust in His death for our forgiveness.
Our Savior attests to this: Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done. Christ, since he dwells in the hearts of his chosen ones through the grace of his love, enters so that he might eat with us and we with him. He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven .
Blessed Feast of Saint Matthew for everyone !