Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 09-21-13, Feast, St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Posted on 09/20/2013 9:26:35 PM PDT by Salvation
September 21, 2013
Reading 1 Eph 4:1-7, 11-13
Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace:
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.
But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.
Responsorial Psalm PS 19:2-3, 4-5
R. (5) Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Gospel Mt 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.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
From: Ephesians 4:7-11, 11-13
A Call to Unity
 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets,
some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  for the equipment
of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of
Christ,  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the know-
edge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ.
1-16. The second part of the letter points out certain practical conse-
quences of the teaching given earlier. The underlying theme of the
previous chapters was the revelation of the “mystery” of Christ—the
calling of all men, Gentiles and Jews, to form a single people, the
Church. The second part of the letter begins with an appeal to main-
tain the unity of the Church in the face of factors making for division—
internal discord (vv. 1-3), misuse of the different gifts or charisms
with which Christ endows individuals (v. 7), and the danger of being
led astray by heretical ideas (v. 14). Against this, St Paul teaches
that the Church’s unity is grounded on the oneness of God (vv. 4-6),
and that Christ acts with full authority in the building up of his body,
through its various ministries (vv. 8-13) and through its members’
solidarity (vv. 14-16).
1. The exhortation begins by stating a general principle: a Christian’s
conduct should be consistent with the calling he has received from
Enormous consequences flow from the fact of being called to form part
of the Church through Baptism: “Being members of a holy nation,”
Monsignor Escriva says, “all the faithful have received a call to holiness,
and they must strive to respond to grace and to be personally holy [...].
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who founds the holy Church, expects the
members of this people to strive continually to acquire holiness. Not all
respond loyally to his call. And in the spouse of Christ there are seen, at
one and the same time, both the marvel of the way of salvation and the
shortcomings of those who take up that way” (”In Love with the Church”,
Speaking about incorporation into the Church, which is the way of
salvation, Vatican II exhorts Catholics to “remember that their exalted
condition results, not from their own merits, but from the grace of
Christ. If they fail to respond in thought, word and deed to that grace,
not only shall they not be saved, but they shall be the more severely
judged (see Lk 12:48: ‘everyone to whom much is given, of him will
much be required’; cf. Mt 5:19-20; 7:21-22; 25:41-46; Jas 2:14)”
(”Lumen Gentium”, 14).
2-3. The virtues which the Apostle lists here are all different aspects
of charity which “binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col
3:14) and is the mark of the true disciple of Christ (cf. Jn 13:35).
Charity originates not in man but in God: “it is a supernatural virtue
infused by God into our soul by which we love God above everything
else for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for love of God”
(”St Pius X Catechism”, 898). In its decree on ecumenism the Second
Vatican Council shows the perennial relevance of these words of St
Paul: “There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without interior
conversion. For it is from interior renewal of mind (cf. Eph 4:23), from
self-denial and unstinted love, that desires of unity take their rise and
develop in a mature way. We should therefore pray to the Holy Spirit
for the grace to be genuinely self-denying, humble, gentle in the ser-
vice of others and to have an attitude of brotherly generosity toward
them” (”Unitatis Redintegratio”, 7).
Charity is basic to the building up of a peaceful human society. ‘The
consciousness of being trespassers against each other goes hand in
hand with the call to fraternal solidarity, which St Paul expressed in
his concise exhortation to ‘forbear one another in love’. What a lesson
of humility is to be found here with regard to man, with regard both to
one’s neighbor and to oneself! What a school of good will for daily
living, in the various conditions of our existence!” (John Paul II, “Dives
In Misericordia”, 14).
The peace which unites Christians is the peace which Christ brings, or
rather it is Christ himself (cf. 2:14). By having the same faith and the
same Spirit, “all find themselves”, says St John Chrysostom, “brought
together in the Church—old and young, poor and rich, adult and child,
husband and wife: people of either sex and of every condition become
one and the same, more closely united than the parts of a single body,
for the unity of souls is more intimate and more perfect than that of any
natural substance. However, this unity is maintained only by ‘the bond
of peace’. It could not exist in the midst of disorder and enmity.... This
is a bond which does not restrict us, which unites us closely to one
another and does not overwhelm us: it expands our heart and gives us
greater joy than we could ever have if we were unattached. He who is
strong is linked to the weaker one to carry him and prevent him from
falling and collapsing. Does the weak person feel weak?: the stronger
person tries to build up his strength. ‘A brother helped is like a strong
city’, says the wise man (Prov 18: 19)” (”Hom. on Eph, 9, ad loc”.).
Union of hearts, affections and intentions is the result of the action
of the Holy Spirit in souls, and it makes for effectiveness and
strength in apostolate.
“Do you see? One strand of wire entwined with another, many woven
tightly together, form that cable strong enough to lift huge weights.
“You and your brothers, with wills united to carry out God’s will, can
overcome all obstacles” (J. Escriva, “The Way”, 480).
4-6. To show the importance of unity in the Church, and the theological
basis of that unity, St Paul quotes an acclamation which may well have
been taken from early Christian baptismal liturgy. It implies that the
unity of the Church derives from the unicity of the divine essence. The
text also reflects the three persons of the Blessed Trinity who are at
work in the Church and who keep it together—one Spirit, one Lord, one
God and Father.
There is “only one” Holy Spirit, who brings about and maintains the
unity of Christ’s mystical body; and there is “only one” such body, the
Church: “After being lifted up on the cross and glorified, the Lord Jesus
pours forth the Spirit whom he had promised, and through whom he has
called and gathered together the people of the New Covenant, which
is the Church, into a unity of faith, hope and charity, as the Apostle
teaches us (Eph 4:4-5; Gal 3:27-28) [...] It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling
in believers and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings
about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together
so intimately in Christ, for he [the Spirit] is the principle of the
unity” (Vatican II, “Unitatis Redintegratio”, 2). All—Gentiles as well as
Jews are called to join this Church; all, therefore, share the one single
hope—that of being saints which is implied in the vocation they have
Recognition of there being only one Lord, who is head of the mystical
body, underlines the unity that should obtain among all the many
members of this single body. All its members are solidly built on
Christ when they confess “only one” faith—the faith that he taught and
which the Apostles and the Church have expressed in clear statements
of doctrine and dogma. “There can be only one faith; and so, if a person
refuses to listen to the Church, he should be considered, so the Lord
commands, as a heathen and a publican (cf. Mt 18:17)” (Pius XII,
“Mystici Corporis”, 10). All Christians have also received only one
Baptism, that is, a Baptism by means of which, after making a
profession of faith, they join the other members of the Church as their
equals. Since there is only “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” “there
is a common dignity of members deriving from their rebirth in Christ, a
common grace as sons, a common vocation to perfection, one salvation,
one hope and undivided charity. In Christ and in the Church there is,
then, no inequality arising from race or nationality, social condition
or sex, for ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor
free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ
Jesus’ (Gal 3:28; cf. Col 3:11)” (Vatican II,”Lumen Gentium”, 32).
God, the Father of all, is, in the last analysis, the basis of the natural
unity of mankind. Pope Pius XII, after recalling that the sacred books
tell us that all the rest of mankind originated from the first man and
woman, and how all the various tribes and peoples grew up which are
scattered throughout the world, exclaimed, “This is a wonderful vision
which allows us to reflect on the unity of mankind: all mankind has a
common origin in the Creator, as we are told, ‘one God and father of
us all’ (Eph 4:6); moreover, all men and women share one and the
same nature: all have a material body and an immortal and spiritual
soul” (”Summi Pontificatus”, 18). God is “above all”: his lordship and
control over things means that he is the author and maintainer of their
unity. Throughout history he has acted “through all” his children, that
is, believers, whom he has used to bring about unity among men and
over all created things. And he dwells “in all” the faithful, for they
belong to him; even the deepest recesses of their hearts are his.
7. The diversity of graces or charisms which accompany the various
kinds of vocation given to members of the Church do not undermine
its unity; rather, they enhance it, because it is Christ himself who
bestows these gifts, as St Paul teaches in vv. 8-10. Christ also
provides the Church with ministers who devote themselves to building
up his body (vv. 11-12).
So just as there is a great variety of personality and situation, the
Church evidences many kinds of “charisms” or different ways of ac-
tually living out the calling to holiness which God addresses to all. “In
the Church”, John Paul II points out, “as the community of the people
of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit’s working, each member
has ‘his own special gift’, as St Paul teaches (1 Cor 7:7). Although this
‘gift’ is a personal vocation and a form of participation in the Church’s
saving work, it also serves others, builds the Church and the fraternal
communities in the various spheres of human life on earth” (”Redemp-
tor Hominis”, 21).
11-12. The Apostle here refers to certain ministries or offices in the
Church, which are performed not only in a charismatic way, under the
influence of the Holy Spirit, but as an assignment or ministry
entrusted to the particular individual by the glorified Lord.
These ministries have to do with preaching (teaching) and government. In
1 Corinthians 12:27-30 and Romans 12:6-8, mention is made, alongside
ministries, of other charisms which complete the array of the gifts to
be found in the mystical body of Christ. St Paul here presents them as
gifts given by Christ, the head of his body, gifts which make for the
strengthening of its unity and love. In this connection, see the quotation
from “Lumen Gentium”, 7, in the note on 1:22-23 above. These graces
are provided by the Holy Spirit who, “distributing various kinds of
spiritual gifts and ministries (cf. 1 Cor 12:4-11), enriches the Church
of Jesus Christ with different functions in order to equip the saints for
the works of service (cf. Eph 4:12)” (”Unitatis Redintegratio”, 2).
In the list which St Paul gives the first to appear are apostles. These
may be the first apostles (including Paul himself) or a wider group (cf.
1 Cor 15:7; Rom 16:7) which includes others sent as missionaries to
establish new Christian communities. Alongside them (as in Eph 2:20;
3:5) come prophets, who are also the bed-rock of the Church, trustees
of revelation. Essentially a prophet was not someone “sent” but rather
one whose role was to “upbuild, encourage and console” (cf. 1 Cor 14:3;
Acts 13:1) and who normally stayed within a particular community. The
“evangelists” were others, who had not received a direct revelation but
who devoted themselves to preaching the Gospel which the apostles
had passed on to them (cf. Acts 21:8; 2 Tim 4:5). It may be that St
Paul mentions them here, along with apostles and prophets, because
it was evangelists who first preached the Gospel in Ephesus. The last
to be mentioned are pastors and teachers, whose role was that of
ruling and giving ongoing instruction to particular communities.
There is no necessary reason why the terminology used in apostolic
times for ministries in the Church should be the same as that used
nowadays; however, the ministries themselves do not change: “Guiding
the Church in the way of all truth (cf. Jn 16:13) and unifying her in
communion and in the works of ministry, the Holy Spirit bestows upon
her varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs
her; and he adorns her with his fruits (cf. Eph 4: 12; 1 Cor 12:4; Gal
5:22)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 4).
And, of course, all Christians have a responsibility to spread Christ’s
teaching, to cooperate in the Church’s work of catechesis. “Catechesis
always has been and always will be”, John Paul II teaches, “a work for
which the whole Church must feel responsible and must wish to be
responsible. But the Church’s members have different responsibilities,
derived from each one’s mission. Because of their charge, pastors have,
at differing levels, the chief responsibility for fostering, guiding and
coordinating catechesis [...]. Priests and religious have in catechesis
a preeminent field for their apostolate. On another level, parents have a
unique responsibility. Teachers, the various ministers of the Church,
catechists, and also organizers of social communications, all have in
various degrees very precise responsibilities in this education of the
believing conscience, an education that is important for the life of the
Church and affects the life of society as such” (”Catechesi Tradendae”,
13. The building up of the body of Christ occurs to the extent that its
members strive to hold on to the truths of faith and to practice charity.
The “knowledge of the Son of God” refers not only to the object of faith
— which is basically the acceptance of Christ as true God and true man
— but also to a vital and loving relationship with him. A conscientious
approach to the personal obligations that faith implies is the mark of
maturity, whereas an undeveloped, childish personality is marked by
a certain instability.
As Christians develop in faith and love, they become more firmly
inserted into the body of Christ and make a greater contribution to its
development. In this way “mature manhood” is reached: this seems
to refer not to the individual Christian but rather to the “total Christ”
or “whole Christ” in St Augustine’s phrase, that is, all the members in
union with the head, Christ. “It is due to this communication of the
Spirit of Christ that all the gifts, virtues, and miraculous powers which
are found eminently, most abundantly, and fontally in the head, stream
into all the members of the Church and in them are perfected daily
according to the place of each in the mystical body of Jesus Christ;
and that, consequently, the Church becomes as it were the fullness
and completion of the Redeemer, Christ in the Church being in some
sense brought to complete achievement” (Pius XII, “Mystici Corporis”,
“The fullness of Christ” must mean the Church itself or Christians
incorporated into Christ; the “fullness” (”pleroma”) of a boat is the sum
total of the gear, crew and cargo which “fill” the boat, and mean it is
ready to weigh anchor. “As members of the living Christ, incorporated
into him and made like him by Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist,
all the faithful have an obligation to collaborate in the spreading and
growth of his body, so that they might bring it to fullness as soon as
possible” (Vatican II, “Ad Gentes”, 36).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
From: Matthew 9:9-13
The Call of Matthew
 And as He sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners
came and sat down with Jesus and His disciples.  And when the Pharisees
saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collec-
tors and sinners?”  But when He heard it, He said, “Those who are well have
no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  Go and learn what this
means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous,
9. “Tax office”: a public place for the payment of taxes. On “following Jesus”,
see the note on Matthew 8:18-22.
The Matthew whom Jesus calls here is the Apostle of the same name and the
human author of the first Gospel. In Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 he is called Levi
the son of Alphaeus or simply Levi.
In addition to Baptism, through which God calls all Christians (cf. note on Mat-
thew 8:18-22), the Lord can also extend, to whomever He chooses, a further
calling to engage in some specific mission in the Church. This second calling
is a special grace (cf. Matthew 4:19-21; Mark 1:17-20; John 1:30; etc.) additio-
nal to the earlier calling through Baptism. In other words, it is not man who
takes the initiative; it is Jesus who calls, and man who responds to this call by
his free personal decision: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John
Matthew’s promptitude in “following” Jesus’ call is to be noted. When God
speaks, soul may be tempted to reply, “Tomorrow; I’m not ready yet.” In the
last analysis this excuse, and other excuses, are nothing but a sign of selfish-
ness and fear (different from that fear which can be an additional symptom of
vocation: cf. John 1). “Tomorrow” runs the risk of being too late.
As in the case of the other Apostles, St. Matthew is called in the midst of the
ordinary circumstances of his life: “What amazes you seems natural to me:
that God has sought you out in the practice of your profession! That is how He
sought the first, Peter and Andrew, James and John, beside their nets, and Mat-
thew, sitting in the custom-house. And—wonder of wonders!—Paul, in his eager-
ness to destroy the seed of the Christians” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 799).
10-11. The attitude of these Pharisees, who are so prone to judge others and
classify them as just men or sinners, is at odds with the attitude and teaching
of Jesus. Earlier on, He said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew
7:1), and elsewhere He added, “Let him who is without sin among you be the
first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
The fact is that all of us are sinners; and our Lord has come to redeem all of
us. There is no basis, therefore, for Christians to be scandalized by the sins of
others, since any one of us is capable of committing the vilest of sins unless
God’s grace comes to our aid.
12. There is no reason why anyone should be depressed when he realizes he is
full of failings: recognition that we are sinners is the only correct attitude for us
to have in the presence of God. He has come to seek all men, but if a person
considers himself to be righteous, by doing so he is closing the door to God; all
of us in fact are sinners.
13. Here Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6, keeping the hyperbole of the Semitic style.
A more faithful translation would be: “I desire mercy MORE THAN sacrifice”. It
is not that our Lord does not want the sacrifices we offer Him: He is stressing
that every sacrifice should come from the heart, for charity should imbue every-
thing a Christian does—especially his worship of God (see 1 Corinthians 13:1-13;
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13 ©
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.
Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.
Psalm 18:2-5 ©
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
We praise you, O God,
we acknowledge you to be the Lord.
The glorious company of the apostles praise you, O Lord.
Matthew 9:9-13 ©
As Jesus was walking on he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’
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We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests
This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
PLEASE JOIN US -
Sea of Sorrow Oh! on what a sea of sorrow Novena Prayer To Our Sorrowful Mother Most Blessed and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother's pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart. I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request, Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy Heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please Our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that: every thought of my mind and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy Divine Son, Jesus; keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in Heaven and sing thy glories. Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy Divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never ending joy at His triumph, obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the Sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen. Litany of the Seven Sorrows For private use only. Lord, have mercy on us. Stabat Mater Dolorosa Stabat mater dolorosa Prayer To Our Lady of Sorrows, by St. Bridget O Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, who didst endure a martyrdom of love and grief beholding the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus! Thou didst cooperate in the benefit of my redemption by thine innumerable afflictions and by offering to the Eternal Father His only begotten Son as a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins. I thank thee for the unspeakable love which led thee to deprive thyself of the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, true God and true Man, to save me, a sinner. Oh, make use of the unfailing intercession of thy sorrows with the Father and the Son, that I may steadfastly amend my life and never again crucify my loving Redeemer by new sins, and that, persevering till death in His grace. I may obtain eternal life through the merits of His Cross and Passion. Amen. Saint Alphonsus Liguori's Prayer To The Mother Of Sorrows O, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only with which I have pierced thy heart, but I have done so with as many as are the sins which I have committed. O, Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, that sufferings are due, but to me, who am guilty of so many crimes. But since thou hast been pleased to suffer so much for me, by thy merits, obtain me great sorrow for my sins, and patience under the trials of this life, which will always be light in comparison with my demerits; for I have often deserved Hell. Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
Was the Virgin-Mother cast,
When her eyes with tears o'erflowing
Gazed upon her Son aghast,
From the bloodstained gibbet taken,
Dying in her arms at last.
In her bitter desolation,
His sweet mouth, His bosom too,
Then His riven side beloved,
Then each hand, both wounded through,
Then His feet, with blood encrimsoned,
Her maternal tears bedew.
She, a hundred times and over,
Strains Him closely to her breast
Heart to Heart, arms arms enfolding,
Are His wounds on her impressed:
Thus, in sorrow's very kisses,
Melts her anguished soul to rest.
Oh, dear Mother! we beseech thee,
By the tears thine eyes have shed,
By the cruel death of Jesus
And His wounds' right royal red,
Make our hearts o'erflow with sorrow
From thy heart's deep fountainhead.
To the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Now we bend on equal knee:
Glory, sempiternal glory,
To the Most High Trinity;
Yea! perpetual praise and honor
Now and through all ages be.
For to whom shall I fly in my wants and miseries, if not to thee, O Mother of mercy, who, having so deeply drunk the chalice of thy Son, canst most pity us poor exiles, still doomed to sigh in this vale of tears? Offer to Jesus but one drop of His Precious Blood, but one pang of His adorable Heart; remind Him that thou art our life, our sweetness, and our hope, and thou wilt obtain what I ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us
(Seven times each)
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, etc.
Mother bereft of thy Child,
Mother transfixed with the sword,
Mother consumed with grief,
Mother filled with anguish,
Mother crucified in heart,
Mother most sad,
Fountain of tears,
Abyss of suffering,
Mirror of patience,
Rock of constancy,
Anchor of confidence,
Refuge of the forsaken,
Shield of the oppressed,
Subduer of the unbelieving,
Comfort of the afflicted,
Medicine of the sick,
Strength of the weak,
Harbor of the wrecked,
Allayer of tempests,
Resource of mourners,
Terror of the treacherous,
Treasure of the faithful,
Eye of the Prophets,
Staff of the Apostles,
Crown of Martyrs,
Light of confessors,
Pearl of virgins,
Consolation of widows,
Joy of all Saints,
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble,
in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let Us Pray.
Imprint, O Lady, thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love
--- sorrow to endure every sorrow for thee, love to despise every love for thee. Amen.
Conclude with the Apostles Creed, Hail Holy Queen, and three Hail Marys,
in honor of the Most Holy Heart of Mary.
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.
Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?
Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?
Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
dum emisit spiritum.
Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
donec ego vixero.
Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.
Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.
Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.
Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.
Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.
Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Spirituality: Our Lady of Sorrows
The Seven Swords Rosary Of Our Lady Of Sorrows [Catholic Caucus] Prayer and Meditation
The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows [Catholic Caucus] Prayer/Devotion
Our Lady of Sorrows, part I: "Her Martyrdom was longer and greater than that of all the martyrs"
The Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Devotional]
Apparition in Africa: Our Lady of Sorrows [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus Devotional]
Feast of Our Lady/Mother of Sorrows
Homilies on Our Lady of Sorrows
Starkenburg:Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine
Our Mother of Sorrows
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, OF THE DOLOURS OF MARY, The Glories [Sorrows] of Mary
Our Lady of Sorrows - Sep 15
Sea of Sorrow
Oh! on what a sea of sorrow
Novena Prayer To Our Sorrowful Mother
Most Blessed and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother's pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart. I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request,
Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy Heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please Our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that: every thought of my mind and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy Divine Son, Jesus; keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in Heaven and sing thy glories.
Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy Divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never ending joy at His triumph, obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the Sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Litany of the Seven Sorrows
For private use only.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Stabat mater dolorosa
Prayer To Our Lady of Sorrows, by St. Bridget
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, who didst endure a martyrdom of love and grief beholding the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus! Thou didst cooperate in the benefit of my redemption by thine innumerable afflictions and by offering to the Eternal Father His only begotten Son as a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins. I thank thee for the unspeakable love which led thee to deprive thyself of the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, true God and true Man, to save me, a sinner. Oh, make use of the unfailing intercession of thy sorrows with the Father and the Son, that I may steadfastly amend my life and never again crucify my loving Redeemer by new sins, and that, persevering till death in His grace. I may obtain eternal life through the merits of His Cross and Passion. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori's Prayer To The Mother Of Sorrows
O, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only with which I have pierced thy heart, but I have done so with as many as are the sins which I have committed. O, Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, that sufferings are due, but to me, who am guilty of so many crimes. But since thou hast been pleased to suffer so much for me, by thy merits, obtain me great sorrow for my sins, and patience under the trials of this life, which will always be light in comparison with my demerits; for I have often deserved Hell.
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.
Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.
Saint Matthew, apostle and evangelist - Feast
Commentary of the day
Saint Bede the Venerable (c.673-735), monk, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on the gospels I, 21 ; CCL 122, 149 (cf breviary 21/09)
Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office and he said to him: “Follow me.” He looked at him not with the eyes of the body but rather with the eye of interior pity. He saw a tax collector, and since he looked at him in pity and choosing him as a disciple, he said: “Follow me.” 'Follow' meant 'imitate' - not by the movement of his feet, but rather by a change of life. For whoever says he is following Christ “ought himself to walk as Christ walked” (cf 1Jn ).
“Matthew rose and followed him.” It is not to be wondered at that the tax collector should leave the earthly gains he was looking after at the first command of the Lord and that, abandoning riches, he should join the company of him who, he saw, had no wealth. For the Lord, who outwardly called him with words, through a hidden instinct secretly taught him to follow him. By the gift of divine grace the Lord enlightened his mind to understand that he who on earth called him away from temporal interests, could in heaven give incorruptible treasures (cf Mt 6,20).
“And as Jesus sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.” The conversion of one tax collector provided an example of penance and forgiveness to many tax collectors and sinners. In a wonderful and true sign of the future, he who was to become the apostle and teacher of the gentiles brought with him to salvation a multitude of sinners in the first moments of his conversion!
| Saturday, September 21, 2013
St. Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist (Feast)
|Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|9.||And when Jesus passed on from hence, he saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew; and he saith to him: Follow me. And he rose up and followed him.||Et, cum transiret inde Jesus, vidit hominem sedentem in telonio, Matthæum nomine. Et ait illi : Sequere me. Et surgens, secutus est eum.||και παραγων ο ιησους εκειθεν ειδεν ανθρωπον καθημενον επι το τελωνιον ματθαιον λεγομενον και λεγει αυτω ακολουθει μοι και αναστας ηκολουθησεν αυτω|
|10.||And it came to pass as he was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.||Et factum est, discumbente eo in domo, ecce multi publicani et peccatores venientes, discumbebant cum Jesu, et discipulis ejus.||και εγενετο αυτου ανακειμενου εν τη οικια και ιδου πολλοι τελωναι και αμαρτωλοι ελθοντες συνανεκειντο τω ιησου και τοις μαθηταις αυτου|
|11.||And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners?||Et videntes pharisæi, dicebant discipulis ejus : Quare cum publicanis et peccatoribus manducat magister vester ?||και ιδοντες οι φαρισαιοι ειπον τοις μαθηταις αυτου δια τι μετα των τελωνων και αμαρτωλων εσθιει ο διδασκαλος υμων|
|12.||But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill.||At Jesus audiens, ait : Non est opus valentibus medicus, sed male habentibus.||ο δε ιησους ακουσας ειπεν αυτοις ου χρειαν εχουσιν οι ισχυοντες ιατρου αλλ οι κακως εχοντες|
|13.||Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.||Euntes autem discite quid est : Misericordiam volo, et non sacrificium. Non enim veni vocare justos, sed peccatores.||πορευθεντες δε μαθετε τι εστιν ελεον θελω και ου θυσιαν ου γαρ ηλθον καλεσαι δικαιους αλλα αμαρτωλους εις μετανοιαν|
Saint Matthew the Apostle
Saint Matthew, after the Book of Kells - watercolor, Copyright ©Burke Meese 2004
Apostle and evangelist.
The name Matthew is derived from the Hebrew Mattija, being shortened to Mattai in post-Biblical Hebrew. In Greek it is sometimes spelled Maththaios, BD, and sometimes Matthaios, CEKL, but grammarians do not agree as to which of the two spellings is the original.
Matthew is spoken of five times in the New Testament; first in Matthew 9:9, when called by Jesus to follow Him, and then four times in the list of the Apostles, where he is mentioned in the seventh (Luke 6:15, and Mark 3:18), and again in the eighth place (Matthew 10:3, and Acts 1:13). The man designated in Matthew 9:9, as "sitting in the custom house", and "named Matthew" is the same as Levi, recorded in Mark 2:14, and Luke 5:27, as "sitting at the receipt of custom". The account in the three Synoptics is identical, the vocation of Matthew-Levi being alluded to in the same terms. Hence Levi was the original name of the man who was subsequently called Matthew; the Maththaios legomenos of Matthew 9:9, would indicate this.
The fact of one man having two names is of frequent occurrence among the Jews. It is true that the same person usually bears a Hebrew name such as "Shaoul" and a Greek name, Paulos. However, we have also examples of individuals with two Hebrew names as, for instance, Joseph-Caiaphas, Simon-Cephas, etc. It is probable that Mattija, "gift of Iaveh", was the name conferred upon the tax-gatherer by Jesus Christ when He called him to the Apostolate, and by it he was thenceforth known among his Christian brethren, Levi being his original name.
Matthew, the son of Alpheus (Mark 2:14) was a Galilean, although Eusebius informs us that he was a Syrian. As tax-gatherer at Capharnaum, he collected custom duties for Herod Antipas, and, although a Jew, was despised by the Pharisees, who hated all publicans. When summoned by Jesus, Matthew arose and followed Him and tendered Him a feast in his house, where tax-gatherers and sinners sat at table with Christ and His disciples. This drew forth a protest from the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in these consoling words: "I came not to call the just, but sinners".
No further allusion is made to Matthew in the Gospels, except in the list of the Apostles. As a disciple and an Apostle he thenceforth followed Christ, accompanying Him up to the time of His Passion and, in Galilee, was one of the witnesses of His Resurrection. He was also amongst the Apostles who were present at the Ascension, and afterwards withdrew to an upper chamber, in Jerusalem, praying in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts 1:10 and 1:14).
Of Matthew's subsequent career we have only inaccurate or legendary data. St. Irenæus tells us that Matthew preached the Gospel among the Hebrews, St. Clement of Alexandria claiming that he did this for fifteen years, and Eusebius maintains that, before going into other countries, he gave them his Gospel in the mother tongue. Ancient writers are not as one as to the countries evangelized by Matthew, but almost all mention Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), and some Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria.
According to Heracleon, who is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Matthew did not die a martyr, but this opinion conflicts with all other ancient testimony. Let us add, however, that the account of his martyrdom in the apocryphal Greek writings entitled "Martyrium S. Matthæi in Ponto" and published by Bonnet, "Acta apostolorum apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1898), is absolutely devoid of historic value. Lipsius holds that this "Martyrium S. Matthæi", which contains traces of Gnosticism, must have been published in the third century.
There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: "S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est".
Various writings that are now considered apocryphal, have been attributed to St. Matthew. In the "Evangelia apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1876), Tischendorf reproduced a Latin document entitled: "De Ortu beatæ Mariæ et infantia Salvatoris", supposedly written in Hebrew by St. Matthew the Evangelist, and translated into Latin by Jerome, the priest. It is an abridged adaptation of the "Protoevangelium" of St. James, which was a Greek apocryphal of the second century. This pseudo-Matthew dates from the middle or the end of the sixth century.
The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew on September 21, and the Greek Church on November 16. St. Matthew is represented under the symbol of a winged man, carrying in his hand a lance as a characteristic emblem.
O 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.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
Feast Day: September 21
Died: January 24, near Hierapolis or Ethiopia
Patron of: accountants, bankers, bookkeepers, customs officers, financial officers, guards, money managers, security forces, security guards, stock brokers, tax collectors
Feast Day: September 21
Born / Died : (around the time of Jesus)
Matthew was a tax collector in the city of Capernaum, where Jesus lived. He was a Jew who worked for the Romans. For this reason, his countrymen disliked him. They called him a "public sinner," as they felt he was betraying his own people.
But Jesus did not feel that way about Matthew. One day, Jesus saw Matthew sitting in his office and he said, "Follow me." At once, Matthew left his money and his position to follow Jesus.
Jesus seemed so holy and king-like that Matthew gave a big supper for Jesus. He invited other friends to meet Jesus and listen to him teach.
Some people found fault with Jesus for sharing a meal with those whom they considered sinners. However, Jesus had a ready answer. "They who are well do not need a doctor; the sick do. I have not come to call the just, but sinners to repentance."
When Jesus went back to heaven, St. Matthew stayed in Palestine. He remained there for some time to preach about the Lord.
We are familiar with the Gospel of Matthew, which is the story of Jesus and what he taught. St. Matthew presents Jesus to his own people. The Lord is the Messiah whom the prophets had said would come to save us.
After preaching the Gospel to many people, St. Matthew finally gave his life as a glorious martyr for the faith.
Saturday, September 21
Liturgical Color: Red
Today is the Feast of St. Matthew,
Apostle and Evangelist. After the
Resurrection, it is thought that he
preached to the Jews for 15 years,
then in Ethiopia and other
countries until he received a martyr's
Daily Readings for: September 21, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: O 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. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Ordinary Time: September 21st
Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Old Calendar: St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
At the time that Jesus summoned him to follow Him, Matthew was a publican, that is, a tax-collector for the Romans. His profession was hateful to the Jews because it reminded them of their subjection; the publican, also, was regarded by the pharisees as the typical sinner. St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist. He was the first to put down in writing our Lord's teaching and the account of His life. His Gospel was written in Aramaic, the language that our Lord Himself spoke.
No one was more shunned by the Jews than a publican, who was a Jew working for the Roman enemy by robbing his own people and making a large personal profit. Publicans were not allowed to trade, eat, or even pray with others Jews.
One day, while seated at his table of books and money, Jesus looked at Matthew and said two words: "Follow me." This was all that was needed to make Matthew rise, leaving his pieces of silver to follow Christ. His original name, "Levi," in Hebrew signifies "Adhesion" while his new name in Christ, Matthew, means "Gift of God." The only other outstanding mention of Matthew in the Gospels is the dinner party for Christ and His companions to which he invited his fellow tax-collectors. The Jews were surprised to see Jesus with a publican, but Jesus explained that he had come "not to call the just, but sinners."
St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist, with his Gospel being the first in the New Testament. His Gospel was written in Aramaic, the language that our Lord Himself spoke and was written to convince the Jews that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus.
Not much else is known about Matthew. According to tradition, he preached in Egypt and Ethiopia and further places East. Some legends say he lived until his nineties, dying a peaceful death, others say he died a martyr's death.
In the traditional symbolization of the evangelists, based on Ezech. 1:5-10 and Rev. 4:6-7, the image of the winged man is accorded to Matthew because his Gospel begins with the human genealogy of Christ.
Patron: Accountants; bankers; bookkeepers; customs officers; security guards; stock brokers; tax collectors; Salerno, Italy.
Symbols: Angel holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins; loose coins; halberd; inkwell; king; lance; man holding money; man holding money box and/or glasses; money bag; money box; purse; spear; sword; winged man; young man; book; man sitting at a desk.
Things to Do:
Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Follow me. (Matthew 9:9)
There you were, Matthew, sitting at your customs post, just as you did every other day of the week. But how your life changed that day! Jesus, the rabbi you had heard so much about, passed by—and singled you out! He wanted you, a tax collector and a “sinner,” to follow him. How your heart must have leapt as you looked into that kind and compassionate face. It was an invitation you could not turn down. You did not waste any time, but got up and invited him into your home. Pray for us, Matthew, to have the grace to respond to Jesus’ invitation to follow him as you did.
You invited all your friends to your home for a dinner. They were public sinners like you, the only people who would associate with you. You wanted them to know how your life had changed and how theirs could too: Jesus loved them, and all their sins—no matter how big—could be forgiven. Pray for us, Matthew, that we may be eager to tell our friends and family about Jesus and the change he has brought about in our lives.
What an honor it was for you to be called by Jesus to be one of the Twelve. Were you surprised that he would invite you into his inner circle? Surely you must have felt unworthy. And yet you had been healed by this great Physician, so you happily left the past behind you and took up your new calling. Pray for us, Matthew, that we too will be quick to seek God’s healing love.
You proclaimed the good news far and wide—not only in your lifetime but in the words you left for us in the Gospel that bears your name. We thank you for this life-giving message that shows how Jesus is the fulfillment of all God’s promises, the fulfillment of all our dreams. Pray for us, Matthew, that we will embrace all of these promises and let them change our lives.
“Jesus, like Matthew, I too need your mercy. Heal me of my sin. Through your word, shine your light through me so that with my whole being I will proclaim the good news of your mercy and love.”
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13; Psalm 19:2-5
FOLLOW ME: THE STORY OF ST. MATTHEW
Today, September 21, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Matthew, the tax collector turned to be apostle of Christ and evangelist. In Jesus day, most of the Israelites despised tax collectors. Tax collectors not only worked for the Roman government, but they often took even more money from people (to pad their own pockets) than was required by their Roman-appointed post. Thus, Jesus undoubtedly surprised everyone by choosing a tax collector as an apostle. But Matthew, in spite of his occupation, accepted the Lords call.
God has built His Church on the foundation stones of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). He has designed His Church in such a way that a variety of gifts are necessary for it to survive in both the local and universal church. Who are the prophets, evangelists, and apostles in your local church? Certainly bishops and priests are called to pastor and teach the flock. But Gods gifts do not stop there! As baptized members of the body of Christ, we are all called to serve in bringing Gods love and truth into the world.
Like the early apostles, Jesus wants to send us out as ambassadors for His Kingdom (see 2Corinthians 5:20). He wants to work with and through each one of us, and He promises that we will bear much fruit if we abide in His word (John 15:5,16). As St. Thérèse of Lisieux said, It is Jesus who does everything in me God has deigned to fill my little hand, as often as necessary, to nourish the souls of my sisters.
How can we become the people that God calls us to be? When we serve others with generosity, we witness to the joy of the Gospel. When we take a stand for truth and justice, we allow Jesus light to shine. Let us sow the seeds of the Gospel by speaking to our friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the love of Christ. Let us help them grow in understanding Gods word by inviting them to a Bible study and/or other programs of the parish church. As we reach out even if just a little we will begin to widen peoples expectations of what God can do in them, through them, and for them as they grow into the maturity of Jesus Christ.
My Sisters and Brothers, let us imitate St. Matthew and take up our apostolic calling.
Daily Marriage Tip for September 21, 2013:
If one of you is sad, sick, or depressed how can you tell? What do you usually do to comfort each other? Does talking about it help or only make it worse? Do hugs and kisses help? Would you rather be left alone? What does your beloved want you to do to help? Ask.
|With the Eyeglasses of Faith|
Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist
Father Barry O’Toole, LC
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" He heard this and said, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ´I desire mercy, not sacrifice.´ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
Introductory Prayer: You are true goodness and life, Lord. Closeness to you brings peace and joy. You deserve all of my trust and my love. Thank you for the gift of life, my family and above all of my faith. I’m grateful too, for the gift of the Church which you founded on the Apostles.
Petition: Lord, help me to be simple and straightforward in my faith.
1. Simplicity Is Bliss: The tax collectors were considered traitors of the Jewish people since they were working for the Romans, the “oppressors” of God’s chosen people. The ordinary Jew would not even converse with one such as this. But Jesus says to him, “Follow me.” Matthew got up and followed him immediately, no questions asked, no conditions. What beautiful simplicity! He didn’t know that Christ was going to make him one of the Twelve. In a certain sense we might say that he signed a blank check and gave it to Jesus. Matthew doesn’t sit down to calculate, he only accepts. He then goes a step further: He invites Jesus to his house for dinner. A Jew generally invited only his true and closest friends and relatives to dinner. It was a sign of intimacy, friendship and love. Matthew goes overboard and lays out the red carpet for Christ in his life.
2. Complicated Calculations: In contrast to Matthew’s straightforwardness, we see the Pharisees’ “righteousness.” Jesus’ dining with a sinner like Matthew is a scandal for them. They really have to confront this Rabbi about his “shameful conduct.” The problem is that they haven’t understood the first thing about the Messiah. Their very point of departure is flawed. They are looking at Christ (and God) from a very rational perspective when the only valid outlook is faith and love. This happens frequently in our lives as we begin to judge events, circumstances and others without faith and charity. Before we realize it, we may have rejected and possibly even defamed our neighbor, a civil authority, or a priest or bishop. We are not looking at things from a supernatural vantage point but rather from our merely human standards.
3. Back to the Basics: Christ puts everything back into perspective. "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ´I desire mercy, not sacrifice.´ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." Once again Jesus invites us to elevate our thoughts to a supernatural plain. Why did God become man? We repeat it frequently, at least every Sunday in the Creed: “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven.…” It is important to examine the degree to which I see and judge everything in my life through the prism of faith. A true believer, a real apostle, must form this “sixth sense” in all of his daily dealings. We form this habit through prayer, our frequent and intimate contact with God. We need to ask God for the gift of faith, which gives us a new perspective on life.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want to be a simple person, one who accepts you and your demands without calculations and complications. Free me from all impediments and grant me your grace so that I might become a convinced, faithful and intrepid apostle of your kingdom, as was St Matthew.
Resolution: In prayerful dialogue with God, I will examine at least three moments or events of my day. (This I can do even at home, in the car or waiting in line, etc.)
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