Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: St Matthew

MP: Psalm 119:41-64; Isaiah 8:11-20; Romans 10:1-15
EP: Psalms 19, 112; Job 28:12-28; Matthew 13:44-52

Matthew (Levi) is mentioned in three of our Gospels: Mark, Luke and Matthew. Holy Women, Holy Men also informs us that most scholars do not believe the apostle Matthew is the author of the book bearing his name.

A reviled tax collector, who leaves everything behind when Jesus asks that he follow him, but first Jesus asks to be fed and entertained in his home. Today we remember a follower of Jesus, whom a whole community of believers are named in the early rise of the Church: the Matthean community. These folks are believed to have been an early community of mostly Jewish-Christians, trying to find their way in this new kingdom/world established by Jesus. They saw bright and colorful lights in a darkened sky in the teachings of Jesus, as passed down to the community bearing Matthew's name.

We know very little about this apostle, whose name is so a part of our tradition. And perhaps that is appropriate: for "it" is truly not about him, but the one whom he left everything to follow. Perhaps one of the things we are asked to consider today is which is more important, bearing and witnessing to Jesus' life, mission and ministry, or ensuring that our name and works are remembered.

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Art: Night Sky, 2009, jfd+

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