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ONE day, as Our Lord was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw, sitting at the receipt of custom, Matthew the publican, whose business it was to collect the taxes from the people for their Roman masters. Jesus said to him, "Follow Me;" and leaving all, Matthew arose and followed Him. Now the publicans were abhorred by the Jews as enemies of their country, outcasts, and notorious sinners, who enriched themselves by extortion and fraud. No Pharisee would sit with one at table. Our Saviour alone had compassion for them. So St. Matthew made a great feast, to which he invited Jesus and His disciples, with a number of these publicans, who henceforth began eagerly to listen to Him. It was then, in answer to the murmurs of the Pharisees, that He said, "They that are in health need not the physician. I have not come to call the just, but sinners to penance." After the Ascension, St. Matthew remained some years in Judæa, and there wrote his gospel, to teach his countrymen that Jesus was their true Lord and King, foretold by the prophets. St. Matthew afterward preached the Faith far and wide, and is said to have finished his course in Parthia.
Reflection. —Obey all inspirations of Our Lord as promptly as St. Matthew, who, at a single word, "laid down," says St. Bridget, "the heavy burden of the world to put on the light and sweet yoke of Christ."
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 36, 1. Be not emulous of evil-doers; nor envy them that work iniquity. Glory be …
May we be assisted, O Lord, by the prayers of the blessed apostle and evangelist, Matthew, that what our effort obstaineth not, may be granted us by his intersession. Through our Lord.
Lesson from Ezechiel the Prophet.
[The time of Ezechiel's prophecy: he sees a glorious vision.]
As for the likeness of their faces: there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four: and the face of an ox, on the left side of all the four: and the face of an eagle over all the four.
And their faces, and their wings were stretched upward: two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies: And every one of them went straight forward: whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went: and they turned not when they went. And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like that of burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps. This was the vision running to and fro in the midst of the living creatures, a bright fire, and lightning going forth from the fire. And the living creatures ran and returned like flashes of lightning.
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he delights exceedingly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the righteous shall be blessed.
Alleluia, alleluia. Thee, the glorious choir of apostles doth praise, O Lord. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ heals one sick of palsy: calls Matthew: cures the issue of blood: raises to life the daughter of Jairus: gives sight to two blind men: and heals a dumb man possessed by the devil.]
At that time, Jesus saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew; and he saith to him: Follow me. And he rose up and followed him. And it came to pass as he was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners? But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.
O Lord, Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones: he asked life of Thee, and Thou didst grant it to him, alleluia.
May the oblation of Thy Church, we pray Thee, O Lord, be commended by the supplications of Thy blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew, by whose glorious preaching it is instructed. Through our Lord.
His glory is great in Thy salvation; glory and great beauty shalt Thou lay upon him, O Lord.
Having received the sacraments, O Lord, we pray Thee, by the intercession of blessed Matthew, Thine apostle and evangelist, that what has been celebrated for his glory may profit for the healing of our souls. Through our Lord.