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Faith Daily | 1 July 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 556


O God,

who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son

to suffer death upon a cross,

and by his glorious resurrection

delivered us from the power of the enemy:

grant us so to die daily to sin

that we may evermore live with him

in the joy of his resurrection;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen




GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 9: 9-13


9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.


10 And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ 12But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Allan Bell


Reading this passage made me wonder how did Jesus select Disciples? At first it seems totally random in the case of Mathew, a tax collector. May be not, as Jesus sought out sinners. The tax collectors of the day were seen by all including Jesus and the Pharisees as sinners.


Jesus calls to him to follow and what is surprising is that Mathew obeys immediately and unconditionally. He was one of many tax collectors and sinners whom Jesus invites to dinner with his disciples. The immediacy of his decision to follow is striking like other first encounters between Jesus and disciples. Jesus seems to have had a compelling way of commanding those he chose.


Mathew’s acceptance of the call is also unconditional. This contrasts with Mark 8:21-22 where one of the followers of Jesus wants to bury his father first and is rebuked.


We do not know what happens to many of the others at the dinner but Mathew goes on to be chosen as one of the twelve apostles and becomes one of the gospel writers. From sinner to apostle, a monumental change that starts with his acceptance of the call to follow Jesus unconditionally.


It seems to me that the message from this passage is that we sinners need to listen for the call to follow and once we hear it, like Mathew, obey unconditionally no matter how busy we feel we are.


FINAL PRAYER As a Disciple of Christ. (from the National Shrine of St. Jude website)


Lord Jesus Christ, You call me to follow You. Help me to drop my nets and abide by You. I am one of your many disciples, committed to finding the ways that You strengthen my life. Touch my heart, enlighten my mind, stir my spirit. Teach me to share the fruits of our faith. Keep me by your side, Lord Jesus, in faith.

Amen.

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