Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Apostle and Evangelist Matthew. He was called and chosen by Jesus as he was sitting at the tax office and he immediately followed Him and organised a feast in his house where other tax collectors and sinners gathered and experienced Jesus too.

Matthew in the eyes of the people is not worthy to be an apostle because of the kind of life he lived, but God's ways are not our ways and Jesus called him and transformed him from being a sinner to a saint. The tax collectors were hated by the people because they became rich at the expense of their fellow country men, they extort them and acquired so much wealth illegally.*_

Jesus saw that he has been wounded by sin and he came to him and presented to him the opportunity to be healed and to become a new man. We could see that in the calling of Matthew, he was not forced by Jesus to follow Him. It was simply his choice to respond to the call and that response brought him joy and peace.

The Lord's voice calls us everyday to turn away from our evil ways to follow Him. If we respond in the affirmative, we will be saved and we will become a channel and instrument of evangelization to win more souls for Him. Now is the time to return back to the Lord, now is the time to turn away from our sinfulness and seek holiness of life. Now is the time to accept Jesus' invitation to become a new creation. Do not let anything hold you back, because it is only in Christ that your heart will be at peace.

Matthew must have been sad because of the way he lived his life, but do not know how to help himself until Jesus came to set him free. Jesus can also set us free from our individual bondage if we come to Him today. He will forgive our sins and show us mercy. When we live in sin we become sick and we are lost, but if we turn to the Lord and repent, we will be healed and our inner joy and peace will be restored.

Matthew must have lost something by leaving his job and the money he made, but he has found something greater in Christ, that is, an opportunity to become a channel through which others like Him could come to gain salvation. He used his writing skills to put down for us what read about the life of Christ in his gospel. He became a worthy instrument in the hands of the Lord.

God can use you as He used Matthew if only you will let go of your old way of life and accept the new life he is offering you free of charge and which will give you happiness much more than any material possession or wealth can give you. Take a bold step towards Jesus today and you will change just as saint Matthew did.

We must give God a chance to change us and heal us from the wounds of sin so that we can become vessels of healing and transformation in His hands. We must not condemn the sinners like the Pharisees did, but see how we can through our words and action win them over to the Lord.

Good morning dearest one. Smile😊 as you do your work and do have a splendid weekend. May God be merciful to you and may you respond positively to his invitation and be saved. Amen. *And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Meditation: Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13/Psalm 19:2-5/Matthew 9:9-13

Watch-Word: For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

God is calling you today, do not harden your heart. Draw near to Him and you will be healed and become an instrument of evangelization and healing in His hand.

(Saturday of the 24th week in the Ordinary Time, Year 1)