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Friday, September 21, 2001

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St. Matthew

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 19
Matthew 9:9-13

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Jesus "said to him, 'Follow Me.' Matthew got up and followed Him." —Matthew 9:9

When Matthew met Jesus, he repented of selling out to the world, immediately walked away from his job, and became a disciple of Jesus. Because Matthew was so in love with Jesus, he invited many tax collectors and other sinners to meet Jesus (Mt 9:10). Matthew was so thankful for Jesus having mercy on him, he would have thought it merciless if he had not invited others to meet Jesus.

Matthew, the first of the Gospel evangelists, shows us that the essence of life in Christ is radical conversion, immediate evangelization, and abundant mercy. When we throw ourselves on the mercy of God, He transforms us so deeply that we feel compelled to share the greatest of all good news, that is, God's saving mercy.

If we are converted, we are merciful. If we are merciful, we are zealous for evangelization. Are you converted? Are you acting accordingly?

Prayer:  Father, convert me by your standards.

Promise:  "It is He (Jesus) Who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers to equip the saints for the work of service to build up the body of Christ." —Eph 4:11, our transl.

Praise:  St. Matthew, a Jew who sold out his own people by collecting taxes for the Romans, made reparation for betraying his people by writing a gospel which was particularly concerned with explaining the good news to a Jewish audience.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001