S. Matthew, Apostle| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers.
Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that "many" tax collectors and "those known as sinners" came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus' answer was, "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" (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important.
No other particular incidents about Matthew are found in the New Testament.
We imagine Matthew, after the terrible events surrounding the death of Jesus, going to the mountain to which the risen Lord had summoned them. “When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them [we think of him looking at each one in turn, Matthew listening and excited with the rest], ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age’ ” (Matthew 28:17–20).
Matthew would never forget that day. He proclaimed the Good News by his life and by his word. Our faith rests upon his witness and that of his fellow apostles.
From such an unlikely situation, Jesus chose one of the foundations of the Church, a man others, judging from his job, thought was not holy enough for the position. But he was honest enough to admit that he was one of the sinners Jesus came to call. He was open enough to recognize truth when he saw him. "And he got up and followed him" (Matthew 9:9b).
Patron Saint of:
Leading by Example:
You should lead by your example in family, among friends and neighbors, and with colleagues and coworkers or fellow students. Your examples should include putting community above self, placing respect for the dignity of others ahead of self-gratification, and demonstrating love above all.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
The more a soul loves God the less it feels this love.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 264: A Retreat With Jesus
Have you ever made a retreat? Some are privileged to take time away from the busyness of life so as to spend an extended time listening to our Lord and being in His merciful presence. Others find it hard to find even a day to enter such a retreat. Regardless of whether you have or have not had this opportunity, know that you need time alone with Jesus. It is not possible to speak to Him only during your busy day and maintain a proper relationship with Him. The depth of the relationship desired by Jesus requires time set aside solely for Him. Seek these opportunities and do not neglect them. It is through moments of extended prayer and reflection that life is clarified and the Will of God is made manifest (See Diary #1326-1327).
When is the last time you spent an extended amount of time alone with our Lord? Perhaps it was only an hour in the chapel or in your room, or perhaps it was longer. Think about how much time you give to Him. We often can find plenty of time to watch a movie, go shopping, or engage in some other recreational activity. The truth is that if we make time alone with our Lord a priority in life, it will happen. We will find the time and our time with Him will be abundantly fruitful. Ponder the level of priority that you give to these moments of quiet reflection with our Lord and recommit yourself to making them the most important part of your life. If you do so, all else will fall into place as His Mercy is poured forth.
Lord, I desire to make You the number one priority in my life. I desire to make time for You on a daily basis and to find an extended period of time for You regularly. Help me to have the will to do this so that I may bask in Your presence and allow You to sort through the difficulties I face in life. Jesus, I trust in You.