September 21, 2015

The Gospel Today

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Reflection (Sem. Jeffrey A. Danan)

St. Matthew

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Matthew, the apostle and evangelist. Matthew was a tax collector, and for the Jews he was considered a public sinner. He was hated because he regularly cheated the Jews with their taxes. Yet, Jesus called Matthew, who without hesitation heeded the call and followed Him.

Jesus calls us by name in a very special way and in our entirety in spite of our imperfections and sinfulness. He sees us, not of who we are, but of who we can become.

I heard lots of opinions regarding my decision to become a seminarian. There were times that I felt down and felt afraid of being judged. People doubted my capacity and credibility saying, “Oh come on, are you sure of what you’re doing?” In my mind I thought how easy it was for them to judge me without giving me a chance to prove myself on the things I can do. I know that I have my own vocation and mission in life which comes from Jesus and my experiences will be a vital part of my formation. Though sometimes I feel like a piece of wood chipped little by little to form a sculpture.

Just like St. Matthew, God called me from being a sinner, to being a disciple. It is God’s nature to seek the sinner and to give souls healing and forgiveness. His grace is universal and no one is excluded.

The Gospel is an invitation for us to acknowledge that God has faith in us. As a seminarian and follower of Christ, I’ll never allow the doubt from others to deprive me of my dream and the will of God for me.

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