Friday, September 21, 2012

Ephesians 4:1-7, Psalm 19:2-5, Matthew 9:9-13


My Beloved, today the Church celebrates the feast of the Apostle St. Matthew, in doing so she reminds us that each of the 12 and St. Paul were called to a special vocation and vocation.  Those who are called have to strive to live holy lives.  Humble, kind, patient and forbearing in love in not an option, it is a state of being.  You unite us all in love through Your Holy Spirit in exactly the same way that He unites the Father and You.  If the Church, the Family of God, baptized into Your Body live according to the design You intended, then the world would look at us and they would glorify God.  Just as the Apostles were called, You continue to call us to serve You in different ways in the world and You give us the grace to carry out that work.  To those who have heard and responded, You bless with every good gift to enable them to be faithful.  Thank You.

My Beloved, just as all creation witnesses to the power of God, so must every Christian be a light in the world.  Each must work tirelessly, faithfully, obediently and humbly according to his or her vocation or purpose and thus we witness to the power of God as we glorify Him in our bodies and we image and reflect You.

If we could only remember this always.  If mercy prompted every action and guided every thought, we would be everything that You wanted us to be.  Kind, gentle, patient, loving, we would not grumble or find fault, gossip or complain.  The Apostle Matthew was a sinner despised by both Jews and Romans, he represents all those who are despised by the world for various reasons.  They carry a stigma, prejudice dogs their footsteps.  Even if they want to escape they cannot because they are trapped for whatever reason and then You come to them and say, “Follow Me!”  Mathew must have looked at You gratefully, wide eyed with unbelief.  I am certain that no one had ever looked at him before the way You did.  Who could refuse or deny that look my Lord? He responded to Your call instantly and without hesitation.  He wanted to belong, he wanted to give up the work that defined negatively him in the eyes of the world and You made that possible for him.

I doubt any sinner who is guilty of grave sin can truly express the joy and the relief of being set free from the slavery that held him a prisoner.  The world is full of people who are cruel and cynical.  They will not allow the sinner to put his past behind him – in the eyes of the world the sinner is always marked.  Not in Your eyes though.  You came for the sinner, the outcast, the forgotten, the poor.  You raise all to the dignity of children of God whereas the world desires to trample them underfoot.

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