getting it all together
"It is He Who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers to equip the saints for the work of service to build up the body of Christ." —Ephesians 4:11-12, our transl.
The Lord has lavished His love on us by giving us vocations, charisms, ministries, talents, innumerable other graces, and amazing opportunities. We are overwhelmed by His love.
The Lord has provided four groups of people to help us integrate and develop all He has given us. The Lord integrates, develops, and equips us for service to build up the body of Christ through apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers (Eph 4:11-12).
Matthew was one of the original twelve apostles. His Gospel is filled with prophecies. He is the first evangelist of the New Testament. He is one of the greatest pastor-teachers of all times in that he has built his Gospel around five major discourses. Thus, Matthew helps us integrate all God's graces to us not only in one way but by his four-fold ministry as apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher (Eph 4:11).
Therefore, when you read Matthew's Gospel, you will connect your charisms with your marriage, your ministry will make you a better parent, your single life will impact your secular job with the gospel, your natural talents will be directed by your charisms, etc. To put it simply, when you read Matthew's Gospel, the Holy Spirit will help you to "get it together." Read Matthew's Gospel.
Prayer: Father, may I read Matthew's Gospel as if my life depended on it.
Promise: "Become one in faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature." —Eph 4:13
Praise: St. Matthew, once a greedy tax collector, left his job to follow Jesus. He then wrote: "How blest are the poor in Spirit, the reign of God is theirs" (Mt 5:3).
Reference: (You may wish to order our Simple Reading Guide to Matthew and Mark as an aid to reading Matthew's gospel.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002