Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, also known as the tax collector. The call of Matthew is a classic example of the fact that God’s ways are not our ways.
Many looked at Matthew and saw in him an ordinary tax collector and thereby a sinner because it was common knowledge that in the business of collecting taxes, the tax-master always kept his own share.
But God looked at Matthew and saw in him a man who would not only become a great apostle but the very man to write one of the Gospels that would be used for thousands of thousands of years to come to preach and talk about Jesus.
God relates with us based on our potentials and not on our past. So long as one is willing, God can use anybody. As the saying goes, God does not call the qualified, rather he qualifies the called.
How does God call us? Through his gifts and talents freely bestowed upon us. As St. Paul says in the first reading, the various gifts we have been given are to be used for the collective growth of the body of Christ in UNITY.
Ephesians 4, 11 to 13 says: “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.”
Furthermore, the call of Matthew challenges us never to become puffed up by pride concerning our state of life. It is not in our place to judge or condemn people but to strive live in a manner worthy of our calling.
Rather than condemn people, let us have the same mind that Jesus had towards us. When we judge people, we reach conclusions about them and knock them off, in that case, we cannot even minister to their souls anymore.
Have you ever attempted to save a sinner before? Why not try the Jesus-method; he welcomed sinners, he ate and drank with them, he be-friended them, made them feel like human beings yet he spoke the word to them which brought them to repentance.
Later on, Jesus would say: “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.” Matthew 21:31-32.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me a mind like yours not to look too much at the speck in others’ eyes but to remove the logs in my eyes. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle. Bible Study: Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13 and Matthew 9:9-13)