Daily Reflection
September 21, 2000
Tamora Whitney
English Department
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Saint Matthew, apostle and evangelist - Feast 
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Psalms 19:2-5
Matthew 9:9-13

If I were singing Mass today, I would sing Fr. John Foley’s song, “One Bread, One Body.”  It’s a wonderful song about unity and it fits beautifully with the first reading, where we hear, “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and works through all, and is in all.”  There is one God for all of us, regardless of race or nationality or sex or status.  We would all sing in the chorus of the song, “One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing that we bless.  And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.”

In the first reading Paul asks for unity and as an example to the Ephesians desires what all good Christians should desire:  to live a life worthy of Christ and of Christ’s sacrifice for us.  He wants to be humble and patient; he wants to love others and do right by them.  And he wants to bring diverse peoples to unity with Christ, the one Lord.  He says there’s some God in each of us.  Each person is given a particular gift and a position, a job to do, and we need to come together to form a unity which will be the whole of Christ and all that’s good.

The gospel shows an example of this diversity becoming unity.  Matthew was a tax collector.  He was not a good man, but when Christ came to him and told him to follow, Matthew did.  He rejected his sin and his old ways and became a follower of Christ.  The people were upset that Jesus was associating with bad people like tax collectors.  They thought he should be around the people with the qualities Paul desires:  patience, humility, and a good and loving nature:  People worthy of Christ.  But Jesus makes an interesting point here.  The people who are already worthy of him don’t need him quite so much.  They are already living lives of humility and patience and love.  They are his strong and appreciated base and help.  They are already doing what they should be doing.  They don’t need fixing.  Those who are well don’t need doctors.  The ones who are not living lives worthy of Jesus -- the tax collectors and all — they need to hear the call.  They need to realize that their lives of sin will drag them down.  They need the doctor to help turn them from their evil lives to live lives of humility and patience and love.  He has come not for those who are already living lives worthy of him and his sacrifice, but for those who have not yet heard the call and need to repent and reform their lives, so they, like Paul, can then desire to live a life worthy of Jesus and His sacrifice.  Then this unity can include the many diverse people, including those who used to be sinners, but now have turned from their old ways to become part of the one body of the one Lord. 

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