A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4: 1-7.11-13)
His gifts were that some should be apostles, some evangelists,
Brethren: I, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 19:2-3.4-5 (R.5a)
R/. Their sound goes forth through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims the work of his hands.
Day unto day conveys the message,
and night unto night imparts the knowledge. R/.
No speech, no word, whose voice goes unheeded;
their sound goes forth through all the earth,
their message to the utmost bounds of the world. R/.
Alleluia. We praise you, O God; we acclaim you as the Lord; the glorious band of apostles sings your praise, O Lord! Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13)
Follow me. And he rose and followed him.
At that time: As Jesus passed on, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Matthew, the tax-collector, has earned enough money through his unpopular yet lucrative profession. But in society he is considered an outcast and public sinner because of the nature of his profession and the way he and other tax collectors carry out their duty. However, for Jesus, he is a man in need of healing and restoration of his human dignity. Jesus sees his heart burning with the desire for a change. When Jesus calls Matthew, he responds immediately and that brings him great peace and joy. He celebrates the occasion in the company of Jesus and his fellow tax collectors. One person’s response of conversion brings many others to the Lord. The joy of conversion is contagious. A deep experience of the presence of the Lord can change us and change others who come in contact with us.