September 21, 2022

Our Gospel today tells us that Matthew was a tax collector, which would have made him an agent of the Roman occupiers, and a despised collaborator of the enemies of his own people. But a simple invitation from Jesus to come and follow him inspired Matthew to leave everything behind to follow the Lord.

There is conflicting evidence as to whether this Matthew, the tax collector, is the author of this Gospel. Still, it is clear that it was written by a person very imbued with the Hebrew Scriptures who was writing to a Jewish convert audience. The Gospel is “book-ended,” first by the genealogy of Jesus demonstrating his place in salvation history and, lastly, by the great commissioning to go out to the whole world spreading the Kingdom.

Between these two book ends, Matthew presents the announcement of the Kingdom of God, proclaimed by Jesus through word and deed. Matthew offers a whole array of Jesus’ parables, “The Kingdom of God is like,,,,”

He offers us the comprehensive Kingdom teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He lays out what values and actions should characterize those committed to the Kingdom in Jesus’ teaching on the Last Judgement. Matthew also describes Jesus as the great healer. The Gospel writer repeats several times that in whatever town Jesus entered, the people brought him their sick, and he healed them. The Kingdom was a place of wholeness, and Jesus’ healings imparted that message.

The disciples were told, just before Jesus left them, that they were to take the message of the Kingdom into the whole world. As present-day disciples, that, too, is our responsibility. The food we need as we move forward is the Eucharist. It is the sustenance of the disciples of the Kingdom. “Take and eat, Take and drink.”

Let Us Pray:

Jesus, your mission as the Incarnate Son of the Father, God’s Word, was to announce the Kingdom, the reunification of God with all of creation. Help us, through our loving acts of service, to accept our unique roles in that Kingdom of peace and justice. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Patrick Riley

Patrick is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament at St Paschal Baylon Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the former Book Review Editor for Emmanuel Magazine.