Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew. He was called by Christ while making account as tax collector and after that encounter, his life was never the same. He serve God wholeheartedly and obey His commandments. At the end, he wrote a famous account about his master, that is, The gospel according to Matthew. In Matthew’s Gospel, from the beginning to the end, Jesus is Immanuel, God-with-us and He remains with us until the end of time.
Matthew recognizes the ever-living presence of Jesus-the Son of Man who came through the lineage of David, to call those who are sick and lost back to the Father. No wonder, while Matthew welcomed Christ into his house, they were a lot of tax collectors and sinners eating and dinning there. So why would Christ the Teacher eat with such group of people? The answer is quite simple. Christ says to the Pharisees who asked this question, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
We all have sinned and failing short of the glory of God and the desire of our God is to pour out his saving grace and endless mercy upon those who listen to his call, in order for them to gain salvation. We must always recognize and attune ourselves to the mercy of our God who has brought us back from sickness to health, from unrighteousness to holiness and from being lost to being saved. This is a message given by Christ to his disciples and it is a message that goes through all earth; a mandate and commission given to us all by Christ. Matthew 28:19-20.
God’s calling should make the called more available and attentive to God. That is one thing I really admire about St. Matthew. He recognize that he was a sinner, he welcomed Christ into his heart and home and with his skills of writing and accountability, he believed and followed Jesus as a witness to the end.This is the basic principle that should guide every disciple. In other words, we should recognize the fact that we are sinners in need of God’s mercy and be attentive to the Master, who teaches us in his word, at his table, and at various moments of our lives, as such, we experience daily conversion and conversation with Christ.
Therefore, dearly beloved of God’s kingdom; as we pray, may we seek the face of God for spiritual, physical, and for all desired blessings, and breakthroughs. May the Lord keep us in his truth, answer our prayers speedily, and meet us at the points of our needs through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr Joseph Osho