Mathew was used to assessing a person’s worth and he could determine their value, he was a taxman. Then Jesus said follow me, and that taxman did. In doing so, he began a new system of appraisal. People were no longer valued in terms of income, or status. All people are precious in the eyes of God, this is Jesus’s reminder to his followers. This is the reminder to the tax collector that once valued people according to earnings; Matthews’s valuation turned from the earthly to the heavenly. Through his discipleship he learned the true value of mankind. That’s something to think of on his feast-day. How often are people thought of as precious in the eyes of God today? How many are valued instead on their wealth, or their intelligence, or their profession, or their heritage. How often do people forget that all people are precious in the eyes of God? So often when people think of Saint Matthew they become focused on Matthew the sinner because that is how he was perceived in his day. How many forget that Matthew himself once valued people incorrectly, according to a materialistic scale. How many forget that he drastically changed his approach once he became a disciple of the LORD. How many are willing to take the same leap of faith that Matthew did, and realize that all people are precious in the eyes of God.
The feast of the apostle Matthew
21 September 2017
That very afternoon, while we remained thoughtful and rapt in wonder, Jacinta kept breaking into enthusiastic exclamations: “Oh, what a beautiful Lady!” “I can see what’s going to happen,” I said, “you’ll end saying that to somebody else.” “No, I won’t,” she answered, “don’t worry.” Next day, when Francisco came running to tell me how she had told them everything at home the night before, Jacinta listened to the accusation without a word. “You see, that’s just what I thought was going to happen.” I said to her.
Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart. Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words: The Memoirs of Sister Lucia, the Last Fatima Visionary
The Priest Beckett stood up to government
The birth of John can cause one to think of all that led up to the birth of Jesus. John was the forerunner of Christ, they are linked by family and through Mary’s visitation of Johns mother Elizabeth. Both Jesus conception and Johns was announced by an angel. In some ways I think that John possibly started paving the way for the Lord before he became known as the Baptist.
His father Zechariah was a priest, and at birth they were linked through a common religion. It was Elizabeth that exclaimed Blessed thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. She then said And why is it, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Elizabeth recognized Mary’s special role in salvation.
For John to carry out his mission of preparing the way for the Lord, the conditions for change had to be right. For John to prepare for the Lord, someone had to prepare the way for John, and that would have been his parents. John’s name Yohanan means graced by God. Jesus name Emmanuel means God is with us.