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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

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St. Matthew

Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 19
Matthew 9:9-13

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the apostolic, catholic mind

"Each of us has received God's favor in the measure in which Christ bestows it...It is He Who gave apostles." —Ephesians 4:7, 11

St. Matthew was one of the four evangelists, a missionary, and a martyr. Even more important than these exceptional callings was that Matthew was an apostle. Apostles are extremely important in God's plan of salvation. The Church is founded on the apostles and the prophets (Eph 2:20). Apostles lead the way in equipping the saints for the work of service to build up the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-12). After Christ's final coming in glory, the Church described as the new Jerusalem will come down out of heaven in glorious brilliance (Rv 21:10-11). The names of the twelve apostles will be written on the foundation of the perfected Church (Rv 21:14). What greater expression of the importance of the apostles could there be!

Apostolic succession is the historical, objective indicator that the Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus founded. Granted that the Orthodox Church also has bishops who are successors of the apostles, but the Orthodox are a subject for another time.

Considering all these facts about apostleship in God's plan, a Catholic should be emphasizing the apostles by celebrating joyfully their feast days, following the bishops, who are the apostles' successors, asking the apostles' intercession, and venerating the apostles in art, song, and devotions. Let us be truly Catholic. St. Matthew and all the apostles, pray for us.

Prayer:  Father, give me a Catholic mind instead of one programmed by my secular culture.

Promise:  "As He moved on, Jesus saw a man named Matthew at his post where taxes were collected. He said to him, 'Follow Me.' Matthew got up and followed Him." —Mt 9:9

Praise:  St. Matthew once thought only of his own profit. Then he met Jesus, the ultimate Prophet, and only thought of working for the King and His kingdom.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004