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. Oct 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

The Feast of St Matthew, the Apostle

Eph. 4:1-7.11-13, Mt. 9:9-13. The ministry and life of Levi, called Matthew demonstrates how God can bring about a turn-around in the spiritual life of a willing and cooperating person to actualise His plan. The name Matthew is derived from the Hebrew "Mattija", shortened to "Mattai" in post-Biblical Hebrew. In Greek it is sometimes spelled as "Maththaios" and sometimes "Matthaios". He is mentioned five times in the New Testament; first as recorded in today's Gospel (Mt. 9:9), when called by Jesus to follow Him and then four times in the list of the Apostles, where he is mentioned in the seventh (Lk. 6:15 and Mk 3:18) and eighth place (Mt. 10:3 and Acts 1:13). He is the same person who was “sitting in the custom house." Hence, Levi was the original name of the man who was subsequently called Matthew; the phrase “Who was called Matthew” (Mt 9:9) would indicate this.

Today's first reading describes the different ministries in the Church including two of the callings which Matthew had: apostle and evangelist. We are reminded that the purpose of all ministries within the Church is: the edification, building up, the Body of Christ – the Church. The Church becomes the unity of those who believe, are edified and called to edify others. Key to the understanding of the Church is the notion of oneness. The Church is one in union with the Holy Spirit, having one body and one Spirit, professing one Lord, one faith and one baptism, one God who works in and through all. The fact that we are united in “the God who works in and through all” means that even though we have different ways of living the life of a disciple, the common purpose of all our ministries is to build up the Body of Christ – the Church – and make it more mature and stronger, all with the help of God. 

May the Lord, who showed His great mercy to Matthew the tax-collector, grant us the grace to live in close union with Christ so that our hearts may be cleanse from sin! Amen!! Good morning and have a pleasant day!!!

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