Stomach Evangelization

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And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.” (Matthew 9:10)

Today, Jesus is at the table in the house of a Pharisee, Matthew. Jesus didn’t care about the bad reputation He was getting from the people – “Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Matthew 11:19)

The Pharisees asked the disciples of Jesus: “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus, on hearing it, said: “Those who are well have no need of the physician, but those who are sick.” Indeed, we would not be wrong to say Jesus was a master at stomach evangelisation. Through eating and drinking, Jesus brought conversion to Zacchaeus as well as his friends and relatives.

This stomach strategy also worked excellently in the case of Matthew whose Feast we celebrate today. By sharing a meal with Matthew, Jesus not only ensured his conversion, Matthew became one of the Twelve Apostles. Sharing a meal with someone can actually serve as a very powerful tool for evangelization. When we sit down to eat, we not only put food in our bodies, we also enter into each other’s world.

Today, many families have lost the culture of eating together. If you no longer eat together, know you are missing out on a great opportunity for real growth and spiritual nourishment.

As we celebrate the feast of St. Matthew today, we not only reflect on lessons to be learnt from the manner of his call, but we also reflect on the fact that God has called each of us as well through the various gifts and talents he bestowed upon us. This is what St. Paul teaches us in today’s first reading. No human being is without special gifts. No human being is useless as far as the building up of the body of Christ is concerned. Find out your special gifts today!

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, open my heart to creative ways of spreading the Good News to others. Amen. St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Pray for us. Amen

Happy Sunday. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Feast of St. Matthew. Bible Study: Ephesians 4:1-13, Psalm 19:2-5 and Matthew 9:9-13)

Fr. Abu.

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