Wednesday 21st September 2022
St. Matthew, Apostle,
Evangelist – Feast
He was born in Capernaum, and was working as a tax-collector when Jesus called him. He wrote his gospel in Hebrew, and is said to have preached in the East.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Mt 28: 19-20
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, says the Lord.
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.
First reading : 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.
R/ Their word goes forth through all the earth.
- 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.
- 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.
Gospel Acclamation : cf.Te Deum
Alleluia, alleluia! We praise you, O God, we acknowledge you to be the Lord. The glorious company of the apostles praise you, O Lord.Alleluia!
Gospel : 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.’
Prayer over the Offerings
As we celebrate anew the memory of Saint Matthew, we bring you sacrifices and prayers, O Lord, humbly imploring you to look kindly on your Church, whose faith you have nourished by the preaching of the Apostles. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Mt 9: 13
I did not come to call the just, but sinners, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Sharing in that saving joy, O Lord, with which Saint Matthew welcomed the Saviour as a guest in his home, we pray: grant that we may always be renewed by the food we receive from Christ, who came to call not the just, but sinners to salvation. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
The call of Matthew and his meeting with Matthew’s likes indicates that all professions can be sanctified. We must not give up on the possibility of staying on the rails if we can stay on them. It is quite true that some professions are more difficult than others because they provide more occasions for going off track, but let’s stick to why we were employed and the primary tasks we have. There are always ways and means of being upright even in very demanding jobs. Let us learn from Matthew and set things right. Matthew had to choose between salvation and continuing to serve Herod and be hated by his kinsmen. He accepted Jesus’ offer to join Him in His mission. In the end he became an Apostle and drew some in his profession to this higher form of life. We too are called to a higher form of life from our various duty posts, from the jobs we do and in our different states and positions in life.