Homily (Reflection) for the Feast of Saint Matthew, Ap. Evang. (21st September, 2021) on the Gospel and the Feast
Ps 18:2-5. (R.v.5);
Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, is believed to be same as Levi recorded by Mark and Luke, cf. Mk 2:14; Lk 5:27. He was son of Alphaeus, cf. Mk 2:14. Matthew was a tax collector, cf. Matt 9:9; Mk 2:14; Lk 5:27. He was listed among the apostles, cf. Matt 10:3; Mk 3:18; Lk 6:15; Acts 1:13. Matthew wrote one of the gospels and is the patron Saint of Accountants, Actors, Bankers, Bookkeepers, Tax collectors, and Taxi Drivers.
Topic: Really well?
Jesus saw Matthew in today’s gospel sitting at the tax booth and said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed Him. At a dinner in his house, Jesus sat among many tax collectors and sinners.
The Pharisees complained against Jesus dinning and winning with tax collectors and other sinners because they judged themselves righteous. This pharisaic attitude continues till today. Many categorise themselves as righteous under different names.
How can we explain passages like: “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” (Eccl 7:20). Saint John also asserted, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1Jn 1:8). Again, Jesus’ command to continually pray for the forgiveness of our sins, cf. Matt 6:12; Lk 11:4.
Jesus replied them in part, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” By implication, those with pharisaic mentality do not look for Jesus. It requires great humility to admit one’s faults. Anyone who cannot admit his/her sins cannot pray, cf. Lk 18:9-14.
One’s inability to acknowledge his/her sinfulness retains one’s guilt, cf. Jn 9:41. Like the Jews, many who read the bible refused to come to Jesus to have life, cf. Jn 5:39-40. Jesus does not cast out anyone who comes to Him, cf. Jn 6:37.
Matthew followed Jesus when He called him because he acknowledged he was a sinner. And Saint Paul judged himself the worst of sinners, 1Tim 1:15. I confess that I am worse than all and ask God to have mercy on me, cf. Lk 18:13. What about you?
Bible Reading: 1Jn 1:5-10.
Thought for today: Who are you?
Let us pray: God, be merciful to me a sinner – Amen (cf. Lk 18:13).
Saint Matthew the Evangelist – Pray for us.
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