Our Footsteps to Follow series looks to the example of those who have gone before us to provide inspiration and guidance as we encounter the Love of God in creation, contemplation, and community.
Today we celebrate the feast of Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. Matthew, the tax collector, considered a traitor and sellout by his community is welcomed by Jesus into his inner circle. Matthew responds to this generous hospitality by welcoming Jesus to fellowship around the table with his fellow outcasts (Matthew 9:9-13). Hospitality begets hospitality as Matthew continues to welcome others to come and know healing and restoration in this beautiful community.
The prayer we pray on this day encourages us to receive this same welcome into loving community, giving up our own "me first" selfishness as well as our "not me" self deprecation in order to experience true fellowship. We also pray for the desire and courage to welcome others, especially those called "other" by our culture, into this loving community.
Lord Jesus, you called Matthew from collecting taxes to become your apostle and evangelist: Grant us the grace to forsake all covetous desires and inordinate love of riches, that we may follow you as he did and proclaim to the world around us the good news of your salvation; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.