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Friday, September 21, 2012

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St. Matthew

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 19:2-5
Matthew 9:9-13

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collector's item

"Jesus saw a man named Matthew at his post where taxes were collected." —Matthew 9:9

Matthew collected taxes. Because Matthew worked for the Romans, he cooperated in Rome's oppression of the Jewish people. Therefore, when Matthew collected taxes, he also collected injustices and enemies. Matthew quit collecting taxes and followed Jesus (see Mt 9:9). Then he collected the sayings and teachings of Jesus, the preaching of the early Church, and the accounts of Jesus' miracles and healings. He put all this together to compose his Gospel.

You may be a collector yourself. You may collect stamps, baseball cards, antiques, or even art. But what do you collect spiritually? Some people collect compulsions. They pick up one after another. Others collect fears. They "live in fear" (see Lk 12:32). Some collect unforgiveness, resentment, and grudges. Others collect hurts. They have so many more hurts than healings.

As Matthew did, let's leave the spiritual garbage we've collected over the years and follow Jesus. Then we can start a new collection — a collection of healings, forgivenesses, freedoms, and commitments to the Lord.

Human beings have the tendency to collect something. Whatever we collect, may it give glory to God (see 1 Cor 10:31).

Prayer:  Father, I give up many of my collections to start a new collection for You.

Promise:  "Live a life worthy of the calling you have received, with perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly." —Eph 4:1-2

Praise:  St. Matthew, once a greedy tax collector, left his job to follow Jesus. He then wrote: "How blest are the poor in spirit; the reign of God is theirs" (Mt 5:3).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Book of Life on audio AV 82-1 or video V-82.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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