The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew
“The Council [of Vatican II] promoted a move to a homiletic mode of preaching which would, like the Fathers, expound the biblical text in a way which opens its inexhaustible riches to the faithful.”
- Pope John Paul II, Ad limina visit, October 9, 1998 (Bishops of the U.S. Northwest including the Bishop of Boise).
Summer Bible Study
June 26, 2000
A. Chapters 1 & 2.
II. St. Matthew: more on his character.
A. His conversion
i. St. Jerome says that a “certain amiable brightness and air of majesty which shone in the countenance of our divine Redeemer, pierced his sould and strongly attracted him.”
ii. The Venerable Bede says that “he who called him outwardly by his word, at the same time moved hiim inwardly by the invisible instinct of his grace.”
iii. His conversion was without delay, it was courageous, it was constant, no looking back, and he was so happy, he put on a dinner party that very day.
iv. We should earnesly pray that the same gracious, God our Savior, would touch our hearts with the powerful interior call, and that we may be perfectly converted to him.
v. Yet, when we put wilful obstacles in the way, the seek of salvatgion is often choked.
III. A. Matthew 3
i. “Repent” means a new advance in salvatgion history, in that he requires a radical changei n man’s behavior towards God. “Repent” means to change from their past life, and conversion, to fulfillment of the resolution, even though it is difficult. Obedience is essential. See, 1 John 2.
ii. John the Baptist. Essentially the last prophet of the Old Testament. His appearance is exreme, but accords with O.T. prophets, particularly Elija (2 Kings 1:8; 2:8-13)/ He invites us to penance and mortification that play a significant role in the life of a Christian. He did not claim baptism to cleanse the soul, but as a outward sign or need for repentance. It was Christ’s institution of baptism, the sacrament that produces the grace it signifies.