Today is the feast of St Matthew, apostle and evangelist. Matthew was an unlikely apostle, being despised by both the Jews, from whom he collected taxes, and the Romans themselves, since the tradition of tax-collectors was to apply their own level of commission to the taxes.
The gospel of Matthew, together with Mark and Luke, is one of the synoptic gospels. This means that they are very similar in terms of events and teachings. Matthew the apostle almost certainly did not write the gospel himself but recorded many sayings of Jesus in Aramaic, not Hebrew. The gospel, which is likely to have been based on the shorter version of Mark, was written in Greek and is recognised as a reasonably accurate version of the life of Christ.
Matthew’s message was primarily directed towards the Jewish Christians who had been excommunicated from the traditional faith. They were faced with a crisis of faith in having to revert to Judaism or commit entirely to Christianity, which was still in its infancy. His narrative, therefore, is focused on showing that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Jewish law, not a contradiction thereof.
The example that Matthew gives us is to recognise in our own lives that, no matter how inadequate we might feel about our faith, we can make a difference. Now, especially in these times of uncertainty, many people are looking for guidance and direction. We are the modern disciples of Christ and the Holy Spirit is with us. Let us bravely witness to him every day – without compromising.
Just a few notices before I sign off:
Congratulations to Giselle Duval, who has been appointed Head Girl at Our Lady of Fatima for 2021. This makes the second year that one of our Confirmation candidates has achieved this distinction. Well done, Giselle!
The conditions for Level 1 Mass attendance will be given attention at diocesan level and we will pass these on to you as soon as we get them. Almost certainly, we will be able to admit more of you to the congregation. Social distancing will probably be the limiting factor.
We hope that you enjoyed the delayed broadcast of the 9am Mass yesterday. It is still available to watch if you would like – Click here. Thanks to Ed Montocchio for making the broadcast happen.
The Lifeteen and Edge leadership attended a virtual international conference called The Frontier over the weekend. This was focused on providing current and relevant material and techniques under Covid conditions. Personally, it was fascinating to see the reaction of the group from Minnesota when a deacon from South Africa was allocated to their discussion session. It was a wonderful and enriching experience all round. Well done to Tess for making our participation happen.
That’s all for now. Have an amazing week.
God bless and stay safe. Dc Mike & the team.