Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Calling of St Matthew

While it is clear that one of the themes of today's feast is the call of the Lord, "Follow me!", we must focus on how such a call is not merely an individual path, though we experience it individually. Yes, when we, like St Matthew, hear the Lord call "Follow me!" we get up and follow and at once begin doing whatever that vocation means in a social, real, historical, even ecclesial sense, involving other persons. As the Venerable Bede points out, in the second lesson of today's Office of Readings, at once St Matthew invited Jesus over for dinner, drawing a crowd of other folks in need of Jesus.

This relationship between our own personal vocations and our ecclesial and public vocations is the reflection of St Paul in the Letter to the Ephesians, today's epistle at Mass:

"I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

"But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.

"And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ."

Perhaps this is also what Pope Benedict means when he invites us to a mature faith.

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