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Friday, July 5, 2002

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St. Anthony Zaccaria

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
Matthew 9:9-13

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see god work through the bible

"I gasp with open mouth in my yearning for Your commands." —Psalm 119:131

At the meal following his conversion, Matthew heard Jesus quote the Scripture passage from Hosea: "It is mercy I desire and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13; Hos 6:6). He heard Jesus quote the Scriptures on several other occasions. On the evening after Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus opened the minds of the apostles, including Matthew, to the Scriptures (Lk 24:45). Matthew heard Peter preach on the Scriptures at the first Christian Pentecost (see Acts 2:14ff). After receiving the Holy Spirit, Matthew and the other members of the early Church devoted themselves to the apostles' instructions (Acts 2:42).

As Matthew taught day after day (see Acts 5:42), he saw Jesus continue to work through the Scriptures to transform lives. Then Matthew decided to write some of the things preached by Jesus and the early Church, including himself. In Matthew's respect and love for the Scriptures, the Lord chose him to write the first book of the New Testament Scriptures.

Abide in God's word (see Jn 8:31). Love the Scriptures. The Lord will do wondrous things in your life through the Bible.

Prayer:  Father, may I devour Your word and make it the joy and happiness of my life (see Jer 15:16).

Promise:  "I have come to call, not the righteous, but sinners." —Mt 9:13, our transl.

Praise:  St. Anthony's mother was eighteen years old when her husband died, leaving her a young widow with her only son, the infant Anthony. She dedicated her life to raising Anthony in the Catholic faith, and he became a priest and a canonized saint.

Reference:  (Are you being called to teach the Bible? Order our audio or video tapes on the Bible Teachers Series. Our eight tape audio series starts with AV 5-A1. Our four part video series starts with V-5A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001