Read Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13, Ps. 19:2-5, Matthew 9:9-13

“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9)

The call of Matthew, the tax collector, is a classic example that no one is useless before God. Many looked at Matthew and could only see in him a sinner because, in collecting taxes, the tax master always kept his share. However, God looked at Matthew and saw a man who would become a great apostle and the very man to write one of the Gospels that would be used for thousands of years to come to preach and talk about Jesus.

Man’s opinion about you may be damaging, but God’s opinion matters. The name people call you is an identity; it does not define your essence. The fact that people are laughing at you or insulting you does not make you a loser. Let God have the last word. God relates with us based on our potential and not our past. We should, therefore, not allow the past to prevent us from responding to God’s call from within.

We all have been called to various apostolates and equipped with various gifts and talents, which calls for collaboration rather than competition. St. Paul says in today’s First Reading the various gifts we have been given are to be used for the collective growth of the body of Christ in UNITY. “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 the unity of the faith.”

Since we have different gifts and callings, we cannot all do the same work, but wherever we find ourselves, we must be “eager to MAINTAIN THE UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Because “there is one body and one Spirit … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6).

Furthermore, the call of Matthew challenges us never to become puffed up by pride concerning our state of life. We could become so self-righteous (like the scribes and Pharisees) that we can no longer recognise God. No wonder the saying is true that pride goes before a catastrophic fall. With Matthew in mind, Jesus once said: “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31)

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, as you called Matthew, may I be an instrument in your hands. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist – Feast. Bible Study: Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13, Ps. 19:2-5, Matthew 9:9-13).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu