READINGS for 2007-09-21
Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle
NOT WELL YET
“People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick.” – Matthew 9:12
I’ve known the Lord for quite some time now.
Every day I strive to know Him more and to be like Him in every way. I used to think I needed to hide my faults and weaknesses especially because I was a witness for God.
But after all this time, I confess...
I am still hyper-sensitive.
I still struggle with the flesh.
I am short-tempered and easily irritated.
I miss out on my quiet time often because I’m lazy or simply undisciplined.
In desperate times, I may still doubt Him.
I occasionally curse when playing basketball or when I get very angry.
I tend to judge others.
I fall into gossiping.
I am not innocent of backbiting.
I am materialistic and still attached to my possessions.
Too often, I still act disrespectfully to my parents and grandmother.
But despite all of these, I know He still loves me and is helping me to change. I am a work in progress.
And I guess if I weren’t already perfect, I wouldn’t need Him anymore.
“Doctor, Doctor, I am still sick...” George G.
Are you not perfect? He came for YOU.
Lord, continue to heal me every day...
Individualism is never going to help in the work of the Kingdom of God. The Church does not work on the principle that an individual has all the gifts but that they are distributed among the Body of Christ so that we have to work together to enjoy their full benefits. There is not enough time in a day for one person to have to exercise more than a couple of the ministries of the Church. One of the important uses of humility is in the ordering of the use of the gifts, such that jealousy is avoided in the exercise of any of them.
1 I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, 3 striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: 4 one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 11 And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 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.
P S A L M
Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5
R: Their message goes out through all the earth.
1  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 2  Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge. (R) 3  Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; 4  through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message. (R)
G O S P E L
Matthew, or Levi in some accounts, is an interesting choice for an Apostle because he comes from one of the most despised professions – that of a tax collector. This is further heightened by the fact that the taxes being collected are for the Romans, an occupying power. Jesus demonstrates by this choice that He looks at different criteria than we do and we need to learn to discern along the same lines if we are going to be a part of the work of His Kingdom.
9 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. 10 While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. 11 The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. 13 Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
think: Individualism is never going to help in the work of the Kingdom of God.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Micah 1-4
Go where I go. Come with me. Stay with me. Be with me. Remain in me. This is the first meaning of “Follow me.”
Do what I tell you. Obey me. Accomplish the task I give you. Fulfill the mission I entrust you with. This is the second meaning of “Follow me.” Imitate me. Copy me. Do what I do. Do not only go where I go; become like me. Do not only obey me; be another me. This is the third meaning of “Follow me.”
Jesus’ “Follow me” for Matthew was not only an invitation. It was a command. The very person of Jesus captured the heart of Matthew so much so that Matthew left everything behind and followed Jesus. He went where Jesus went. He did what Jesus said. He became an alter Christus. Matthew followed the Lord all the way: when he left his tax collector’s post, he never returned to it. And when finally Matthew was martyred, as all the apostles were, except John and Judas, he could say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
Jesus tells us today what He told Matthew then, “Follow me.” Likewise, it is not a mere invitation to us. It is a command. It is our mandate. It is our life.
Let us be where Jesus is. Let us do what Jesus says. Let us become like Jesus. May we be the feet for Jesus. May we be His hands. May our hearts be made like unto His. Go with Jesus. Work for Jesus. Love like Jesus.
Not worthy? Who is? Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: How do I follow Jesus?
Day by day, O dear Lord, three things I pray: to see Thee more clearly; to love Thee more dearly; to follow Thee more nearly day by day. Amen.
St. Meletius, bishop and martyr, pray for us.
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