Faith Daily | 2 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p552
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.
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: Contributed by: Neville Eckersley
This is a lovely story that probably shows us the calling of Matthew, whose name is associated with this gospel. The planned, cautious approach evident in it suggest a person well-versed in accounting may be the writer.
Tax collectors are never popular, but in first century Israel they were scorned as lackeys of the oppressive occupying Romans. Matthew would have been isolated socially, and his friends would have been only other” tax-collectors and sinners,” as the group at the meal in verse 10 are described. This is presumably a celebration at his house.
Of course, wherever Jesus went the opposition to him was sure to make its presence felt too. They pose a question showing their disapproval of his eating with such terrible people and hinting this is not what a good Jew, especially a Rabbi, would do.
His response is straight to the point: These people are the ones in need as God has said, Mercy to others is always better than ritual and religiousness ( Hosea 6:6).
When there is great need, as we have with Covid once more ravaging the world and now again our country, where should the doctors be? Not safely in quarantine, but with the sick and vulnerable.
We live in times of great need in our broader Australian society. There are many issues that effect the vulnerable around us.
Where must our time, attention and resources be focussed as followers of Jesus?
FINAL PRAYER: "The Summons" John Bell and Graham Maule
Will you come and follow me If I but call your name? Will you go where you don't know And never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known Will you let my life be grown in you And you in me? Will you leave yourself behind If I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind And never be the same? Will you risk the hostile stare Should your life attract or scare? Will you let me answer prayer in you And you in me? Will you let the blinded see If I but call your name? Will you set the prisoners free And never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean And do such as this unseen And admit to what I mean in you And you in me?
Will you love the "you" you hide If I but call your name? Will you quell the fear inside And never be the same? Will you use the faith you’ve found To reshape the world around Through my sight and touch and sound in you And you in me? Lord your summons echoes true When you but call my name Let me turn and follow you And never be the same In Your company I'll go Where Your love and footsteps show Thus I'll move and live and grow in you And you in me.