Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610)
Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome
Apostle and Evangelist
In the second year of His public ministry Jesus called Levi, the tax-gatherer, away from his booth and gave His new disciple the name of Matthew, which means "Gift of Yahweh." To Christ, the humble, willing soul of the publican was far more pleasing than were those of the self-satisfied Pharisees, proud of their observance of the letter of the Law but oblivious of its spirit. Soon afterward, the Savior chose the converted tax-gatherer as one of His Apostles. Matthew wrote the first Gospel, which records so many loving details about his master's life on earth. Tradition relates that he evangelized Persia and suffered martyrdom among the Parthians.
INTROIT Ps. 36:30-31
The mouth of the just man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justly. The law of God is in his heart.
Ps. 36:1. Be not envious of evildoers, nor jealous of those who do wrong.
V. Glory be . . .
O Lord,may the prayers of the blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew help us to obtain the graces we ourselves cannot acquire by our merits. Through our Lord . . .
READING Ezech. 1:10-14
And as for the likeness of their faces: there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four: and the face of an ox, on the left side of all the four: and the face of an eagle over all the four. And their faces, and their wings were stretched upward: two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies: And every one of them went straight forward: whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went: and they turned not when they went. And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like that of burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps. This was the vision running to and fro in the midst of the living creatures, a bright fire, and lightning going forth from the fire. And the living creatures ran and returned like flashes of lightning.
GRADUAL Ps. 111:1-2
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.
V. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the righteous generation shall be blessed.
Alleluia, alleluia! V.
The glorious choir of apostles praises You, O Lord. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Matt. 9:9-13
At that time, Jesus saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew; and he saith to him: "Follow me." And he arose up and followed him. And it came to pass as he was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: "Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners?" But Jesus hearing it, said: "They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 20:4-5
O Lord, You have placed on his head a crown of precious stones. He asked life of You and You gave it to him, alleluia!
O Lord, may the offering of Your Church be presented to You by Your blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew, through whose learned teaching she was instructed in the faith. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 20:6
His glory is great because of Your help; You have conferred upon him glory and great splendor, O Lord.
We who have received Your Sacrament, O Lord, look hopefully for the prayers of Your blessed apostle and evangelist Matthew. May the Sacred Rite that we have celebrated in his honor bring us healing for our own sinfulness. Through our Lord . . .