FEAST OF SAINT MATTHEW, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Brothers and sisters:
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
The gifts he gave were that some would 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 all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
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.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
Jesus saw a tax collector and he said to him, “Follow me.” The Pharisees saw a tax collector and said, “A sinner.” The difference was in their vision.
We see according to what we are looking for. If we are looking to build up the Kingdom, we see potential. If we see to enlarge our own importance, we see faults so that we can increase our own feelings of superiority. If we are mired in this habit, of always seeing the worst or the negatives in others, it is truly that we have tunnel vision. We are blind and lost because we can only look to try to make ourselves the center of our world.
God never looks at us this way. We are all gifted and equipped to live a life for him, pleasing to him and with a mission. All people are valuable and important. All people have worth.
“But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” All gifts give glory to God. Some people may feel superior by finding fault but that will never glorify us and will never glory God. If we want to give glory to God and see God, we have to look for him and see him in our neighbor. Then we can help to bring the healing of conversion and reconciliation to others. Then we can truly join the celebration at the table of the Lord.