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21.09.2021 — Joyful Sharing with Friends

Posted under Reflections on September 20th, 2021 by

St. Matthew, Apostle, Monday – 21st September 2021 — Gospel:   Mt 9,9-13

Joyful Sharing with Friends

Matthew, the apostle and an evangelist, leaves the tax tables and follows Jesus. His old name was Levi, the son of Alphaeus (Mk 2,14). “Mathew” means “the gift of God.” Apparently, the name was given to commemorate his conversion and his call to be a disciple. In response to his personal call, Matthew opened his heart to Jesus and became a new person. This was not an easy decision for him to make. He was a native of Capernaum, and Capernaum had rejected Jesus (Mt 11,23). He was a well-known businessman in the city, and his old friends probably persecuted him as traitor and thief. Certainly, Matthew lost a good deal of income when he left all to follow Christ.  Nevertheless, Matthew not only opened his heart, but he also opened his home. He knew that most of his old friends would drop him when he began to follow Jesus, so Matthew took advantage of the situation and invited them to meet Jesus. Matthew may have come to despise the lifestyle he had been living, but he did not despise those with whom he had shared such a lifestyle. They had been his friends, and now he wanted to introduce them to Jesus, the rabbi who had so quickly and dramatically changed his own life. In offering great feast to his friends, tax collectors and sinners, Matthew prepared them indirectly and interiorly to hear the call of Jesus and respond like him.

20.09.2021 — Respond to Illuminating Word

Posted under Reflections on September 19th, 2021 by

25th Week in Ord. Time, Monday – 20th September 2021 — Gospel: Lk 8,16-18

Respond to illuminating Word

The three proverbs appear to present the aspect of perseverance and the ongoing effect of the Word. If the lamp of faith is lit in a human life, it is not meant to be covered or hidden but to keep on shining and shed light. The first saying focuses on the missionary aspect of the Word. Jesus’ revelation is to enlighten everyone in the house and even those who enter the house from outside.  Luke repeats this saying later in his gospel to bring out the point that disciples need to purify their lives if they wish to see clearly and attract others to truth (Lk 11,33). The second saying refers to the revelatory power of Jesus’ words. The Letter to the Hebrews makes this point quite powerfully (Heb 4,12-13). This saying is also found in another context (12,11), where the word is used to encourage a disciple not to act out of fear. The third saying tells that the more we listen to Jesus’ word the more we will be attuned to hear it (Prov 9,9).  On the other hand, every time we fail to listen, it becomes harder to hear the next time (Prov 8,36). When persons have responded positively to the Word, God’s grace invades their lives ever more abundantly; an initial refusal cuts things off from the start.

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