Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Collect - St. Matthew (September 21)

The Latin Collect
Beati Apostoli et Evangelistae Matthaei, Domine, precibus adjuvemur: ut, quod possibilitas nostra non obtinet, ejus nobis intercessione donetur.

May we be assisted, O Lord, by the prayers of the blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew; that what of ourselves we are not able to obtain, may be given us by his intercession.

Collect, 1549
Almightie God, whiche by thy blessed sonne dyddest call Matthewe from the receipte of custome to be an Apostle and Euangelist; Graunt us grace to forsake all couetous desires, and inordinate loue of riches, and to folowe thy sayed son Jesus Christ.

Commentary
As may be seen, Archbishop Cranmer replaced the Latin Collect with a new composition, intending, rather than ringing the changes on the intercession of the Saints, as many of the old saints' day collects did, to extract an incident from the life of Matthew and to pray that we might be touched by his example as well as by his prayers.

Meditation
Our daily lives are spent, as was Matthew's, in the pursuit of material needs and wants. There it is that Jesus finds us, day by day, and summons us to follow. May we hear Him as clearly as did the Apostle, and turn our backs on anything that would keep us from His service. Let us not be as the rich young ruler who clung to what he had and sadly turned away from God.

2 comments:

gabe said...

I am not much of a bible man. but I will have to disagree with you folks on the question of poverty in christianity.Poverty does not guarantee a sure place in heaven.I am sure a good number of rich folks have gone to find a place in the kingdom of God. I do not think God really cares whether one is rich or poor.Prosperity was always a part of His blessings in Old Testament.Money is only a tool and it should be onderstood as that.If poverty is so good then why are we sending money to educate and uplift the poor in other nations? This way are we not committing a sin? There should be a new understanding of money in christianity. And that should come from churches.Try living in the city without money for a few days.

poetreader said...

Gabe,

You've entirely missed what I was saying and what the Lord is saying, and I don't even see where you found the thoughts to which you seem to be responding. Who ever even hinted that "poverty guarantees a sure place in heaven"? I sure didn't, and neither did Jesus.

Our Lord indeed used money and business as powerful symbols in his parables. It's not possessions or prosperity that he condemns, but wrong and evil priorities.

St. Matthew left his livelihood and all his possessions to follow Jesus, not because such things were evil, but because he had another call, one that wasn't compatible with the life and prosperity that he had been enjoying. The rich young ruler of the parable, on the other hand, found himself putting his possessions above his call, and walked away sorrowing.

When St. Paul wrote to St. Tomothy, he never said that money is evil, but he did say that the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil. If we are not putting God first in all our affairs -- if we are not holding loosely to all our prosperity, even to those things we consider essential, we are not putting God first, and we are worshiping another God. It's as our Lord said, You can't serve both God and Mammon.

That goes for those we'd call poor as well. The love of money is one of the reasons that slum neighborhoods are so crime-ridden.

It's nice to have good things, and is often a blessing from God, but, when those good things are taking our attention from God, they become a fearsome curse.

Friend, I think that you need to become a 'bible man'. You need to search deeply into the Scriptures with prayer - not as a rule book, certainly not as a justification for your own wants, but as a word of God, a living God who wants to change your life by changing your attitudes. That is what I need.

In love and prayer,
as one sinner to another,
ed