Monday 21 September 2020

About Today Readings

St Matthew

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13. Their message goes out through all the earth – Psalm 18(19):2-5. Matthew 9:9-13.

It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick

The readings today remind us of the paradox of Christianity. St Paul encourages the Ephesians to be on their very best behaviour: ‘ . . . lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called . . .’ He names roles which connote excellence of character: ‘apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, the work of ministry’.

Christianity is imagined as a calling to the highest ideal of morality. But in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is depicted carousing with ‘sinners’ in the home of a detested social outsider, the tax collector. He responds to criticism, saying that he has come for the sake of the morally sick.

The paradox is resolved by recalling Paul’s own life: Saul, an enabler of the stoning of Stephen; Saul, the self-righteous nemesis of the followers of Christ; Saul, himself, was transformed by the Gospel of Jesus into Paul, the epitome of broken saintliness.

Lord, convert us daily to moral authenticity.

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