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St. Matthew

Mt 9: 9-13

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 

But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Accepted as we are now

If Jesus had a bit more of a sarcastic streak, his response to being asked why he ate with sinners may have been more along the lines of “because otherwise I would always eat alone.”  Fortunately, he saw this as a teachable moment and reminds all of us that he came for all people, not just a select few. The Pharisees would have preferred that Jesus’ inner circle consisted of a more “elite” group, ideally comprised mainly of themselves.  

But Jesus’ response makes it clear that, just like the tax collectors and sinners he dined with, we are invited into a relationship with him right now, as we are.  We don’t need to wait until we are more holy, or better at prayer, or in a more stable place in our lives; Jesus is ready to meet us exactly where we are. Like Matthew, we have the opportunity to accept the invitation today, no matter what we are doing, and begin a friendship with Christ, allowing that relationship to open us to an even greater discipleship.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

Prayer

Lord, give me the grace to labor with you
without seeking myself-
to live the Kingdom
In its full reality.

—John Futrell, SJ

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Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions
Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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DAILY INSPIRATION

September 21, 2019

Scripture

St. Matthew

Mt 9: 9-13

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 

But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 


Ignatian Reflection

Accepted as we are now

If Jesus had a bit more of a sarcastic streak, his response to being asked why he ate with sinners may have been more along the lines of “because otherwise I would always eat alone.”  Fortunately, he saw this as a teachable moment and reminds all of us that he came for all people, not just a select few. The Pharisees would have preferred that Jesus’ inner circle consisted of a more “elite” group, ideally comprised mainly of themselves.  

But Jesus’ response makes it clear that, just like the tax collectors and sinners he dined with, we are invited into a relationship with him right now, as we are.  We don’t need to wait until we are more holy, or better at prayer, or in a more stable place in our lives; Jesus is ready to meet us exactly where we are. Like Matthew, we have the opportunity to accept the invitation today, no matter what we are doing, and begin a friendship with Christ, allowing that relationship to open us to an even greater discipleship.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 


Prayer

Lord, give me the grace to labor with you
without seeking myself-
to live the Kingdom
In its full reality.

—John Futrell, SJ

THE POPE'S PRAYERS

Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

DAILY EXAMEN

The Daily Examen is a prayer technique developed by St. Ignatius to help us reflect on the events of the day to discern God’s presence and direction. When Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, he required the Jesuits to practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

The Examen structure presented below is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. Click here for more information from our partners in ministry at Loyola Press.

Daily Examen

1. Become aware of God’s presence

God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.

2. Review the day with gratitude

God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and your help to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and today.

3. Pay attention to your emotions

God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me to see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others and open to growth.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

God, forgive me for when I have not done my best or have failed to treat others well. Encourage me, guide me, and continue to bless me.

5. Look toward tomorrow

As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.

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