St. Matthew the Evangelist

Friends, this is a reprint from a blog post that I made on September 21, 2017. I only mention that because, a few paragraphs down, I wrote back then: ” Sometimes Jesus calls us to do things that are uncomfortable, something that might threaten our convenience.  Would we take up that command if it meant we had to walk away from everything we knew? “

Since that time, we walked away from everything we knew, leaving Wyoming, our children and their families, friends and neighbors because the Lord called us to do so.

Stewardship requires sacrifice, but mostly it requires faith. When we step into faith and do what the Lord asks, the rewards are great.

Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. Luke 6:38

Happy Feast of St. Matthew!

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This is a photo of the statue of Matthew the Evangelist, which has its home in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.  There are enormous statues of all 12 Apostles inside the Archbasilica.  On September 21, the feast of St. Matthew, it is entirely appropriate that we show only this one.

We all know Matthew was a tax collector.  In ancient Capernaum, tax collecting was not an honorable trade.  The collectors were a cross between loan sharks, thieves, bill collectors, and generally despised citizens.  They were also some of the richest people in town, and Matthew was likely no exception.

One day, while he was sitting at the customs house, Jesus came up to him.  He said “Follow me.”

And he got up and followed him. (Mt. 9-9)

There was no argument from Matthew.  He never told Jesus that he had go clean up his house first, or that he could follow next Tuesday at 10.  He never talked about why he just couldn’t go right now because he had a vacation planned, or that he had to go get some groceries and feed his dog. He never said he had to take his kids to a soccer game on Sunday, and couldn’t possibly follow Jesus until later that week.

That’s it. No questions, no delays.  Jesus gave a command, and Matthew followed it.

And he got up and followed him.

I don’t know many – any – people who would do the same.  Sometimes Jesus calls us to do things that are uncomfortable, something that might threaten our convenience.  Would we take up that command if it meant we had to walk away from everything we knew?

Matthew understood what was going on.  Jesus said “Follow me” and Matthew did.  There were no subordinate clauses, or excuses, or conditions. Just “Follow me.”

And he got up and followed him.

Stewardship is like that.  Jesus calls, we answer with a yes.  We don’t ask how many meetings we have to attend, or how long is our term, or if we will be compensated for any costs we bear.  Jesus wants us all, and he wants all of us.  So when the Jesus says to get up and follow him, we need to be like Matthew.

And he got up and followed him.

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