Sept. 21: ST. MATTHEW, Apostle and Evangelist
Promptness and generosity in following God’s call
Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Matthew, Apostle and human author of the 1st Gospel, also known as Levi, the son of Alphaeus or simply Levi (Cf. Mk 2:14 and Lk 5:27), who works as a tax collector.
- GOD CALLS WHOMEVER HE CHOOSES
- It is fitting to note that as a publican and thus having the right to collect taxes on behalf of Herod, his profession was scorned at during his time. Nevertheless, Our Lord, independently of Matthew’s past, fixed his gaze upon him and called him to his service, to underline the fact that GOD CALLS WHOMEVER HE CHOOSES, INDEPENDENTLY OF ONE’S PAST, ONE’S ERRORS…AND THE VOCATION IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND NOT MAN’S MERIT.
- “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (Jn 15:16).”
- EVERY BAPTIZED PERSON HAS THE VOCATION TO HOLINESS BUT SOME RECEIVE A PARTICULAR CALLING AS A SIGN OF DIVINE LOVE AND PREDILECTION
- All of us, through Baptism, are call by God to holiness but in addition to this, OUR LORD ALSO CALLS MEN AND WOMEN TO A PARTICULAR CALLING TO CARRY OUT A SPECIFIC MISSION IN THE CHURCH as priests, consecrated men and women to religious life, to apostolic celibacy, and to the great majority as married men and women called to holiness in the middle of the world. THIS SECOND CALLING IS A SPECIAL GRACE, A SHOW OF DIVINE PREDILECTION FROM THE MOST BLESSED TRINITY.
- WHEN GOD CALLS US, LET US IMITATE ST. MATTHEW IN HIS PROMPTNESS AND GENEROSITY TO FOLLOW CHRIST
- Matthew’s response was immediate and generous. He left the money at the table to follow Christ. “HE ROSE AND FOLLOWED HIM”, as the Gospel says.
- WHENEVER WE HEAR GOD’S CALL TO SOMETHING GREATER, LET US HAVE THIS PROMPT AND IMMEDIATE RESPONSE OVERCOMING EXCUSES OR PROCRASTINATION WHICH COULD BE A SIGN OF LACK OF GENEROSITY, FEAR AND ATTACHMENT TO OUR OWN PLANS AND AMBITIONS.
- We should also be convinced that GOD KNOWS WHAT’S BEST FOR EACH ONE OF US AND WHAT HE HAS RESERVED FOR THOSE WHOM HE CALLS IS A MUCH GREATER GOOD THAN THE PLEASURES OF THIS WORLD. IT IS TO GIVE ONESELF FOR THE LOVE, WHICH IS GREATER THAN ANY HUMAN LOVE HERE ON EARTH for “God does not allow himself to be outdone in generosity (St. Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, n. 40).” Remember what Our Lord said?
“And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or
father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake,
WILL RECEIVE A HUNDREDFOLD, AND INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE (Mt: 19:29).”
Dear friends, let us ask God, through the intercession of St. Matthew and Our Lady, FOR OUR PROMPT AND GENEROUS REPLY TO FOLLOW CHRIST DAILY AND ESPECIALLY OF THOSE WHO HAVE HEARD OUR LORD’S SPECIFIC CALLING, WHATEVER IT MAY BE.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness
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PHOTO SOURCE: Caravaggio, “The Calling of St. Matthew” in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Calling_of_St_Matthew_(Caravaggio)#/media/File:The_Calling_of_Saint_Matthew-Caravaggo_(1599-1600).jpg