Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Tuesday, 21st September, 2021
Next Sunday's Readings
09-21 St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians 4:1-7. 11-13
Theme: To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some evangelists.
I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you therefore to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. And to some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 18
Response Their word goes forth through all the earth.
1. The heavens proclaim the glory of God
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message. Response
2. No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth,
their words to the utmost bounds of the world. Response
We praise you, O God, we acknowledge you to be the Lord.
The glorious company of the apostles praise you, O Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 9:9-13
Glory to you, O Lord.
Theme: Follow me. And he got up and followed him.
While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice.
And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection Sept. 21, Saint Matthew, apostle and evangelist Matthew 9:9-13
Matthew was an unlikely candidate to be a member of Jesus’ inner circle, the twelve apostles. He was very much an outsider among the Jewish community. He collected taxes for the Romans, the occupying power, and it was presumed that such people collected more money than was required, so as to enrich themselves. He would have been regarded as a sinner by those who thought of themselves as religious. It would have been tempting for many to ask, ‘Can anything good come out of someone like Matthew?’ Yet, not only did Jesus call him to become his disciple, one of the twelve, but Matthew went on to give his name to one of the four gospels. Matthew may not have personally written the gospel that has his name, but he was in some way influential in the writing of that gospel.
The call of Matthew reminds us that the Lord relates to us as we are, not as we image that we should be or as other people think we should be. The Lord calls us to be his disciple, to share in his mission, even if there are all sorts of boxes we don’t seem to tick. He does not wait for us to have it all together before calling us. As he says in the gospel reading, ‘I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners’. The Lord looks generously on each one of us; he has a purpose for our lives that is very ambitious. Paul describes that purpose in the first reading as becoming ‘fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself’. It is an exciting call. All the Lord asks is that we respond generously to his call, as Matthew did. In responding to the Lord’s call, we can rely on him to help us live out that call. As Paul says in that first reading, ‘each one of us has been given their own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it’.
The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Gospel reflection is available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2020-2021: You have the Words of Eternal life by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/