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The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle, 21 September 2023 Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13 ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> Matthew 9:9-13
God our loving Father, on this feast of your Son's Apostle St. Matthew who used to be known as Levi, a tax collector, I pray for all the men and women who work hard to provide food, shelter, and clothing for their families; through St. Matthew, Jesus Christ had shown us you love so dearly every working man and woman who toil and labor under the most harsh conditions trying to earn a living.
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
St. John Chrysostom rightly noticed how the gospels mentioned the work of some Apostles called by Jesus: Peter, James and John were fishing while Matthew was collecting taxes; oh how perceptive were the eyes and tongue of St. John Chrysostom! Because fishing was seen as a lowly job during that time while the taxman was the most despicable person for Jews and yet, Jesus called them!
Lord Jesus, grant your mercy and comfort, consolation and help to all workers so hard pressed in this life, especially the forgotten who strive to earn money decently like our farmers and fishermen, drivers and vendors, maidservants and nannies who working abroad to care for other families as they left their own families behind; bless the cops and traffic enforcers, our government workers and officials who live in the darkness of sin, trapped in the lures of wealth and money; in calling St. Matthew, Jesus showed us his daily passing and calling of everyone of us, people of all social classes while they go about their ordinary, daily work.
Grant us the strength and courage, dear Jesus, to be like St. Matthew to immediately rise up and follow you, to leave everything behind especially sin and evil, to be detached and to finally stop activities that are not compatible in following you, Lord; like St. Matthew, may we "write" your gospel with our very lives of holiness, making known to everyone your Divine Mercy.
Dearest Jesus, open our hearts to intently listen to St. Matthew's voice and message so we may learn to rise and stand then follow you, Lord, with determination. Amen. St. Matthew, pray for us!