This Is The Word Of The Lord
Sunday December 1st, 2013
(The First Sunday Of Advent)
Post # 989
St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle while sitting in the tax collectors place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.
His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.
Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.
Today’s Gospel Reading
Gospel, Matthew 24:37-44 NKJV
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
What Does Matthew Mean?
These verses share how the Holy Spirit chose to work through Matthew by allowing him to prepare the heart of man for receiving God’s greatest gift.
In referencing Noah, we are reminded that the everyday acts in our lives existed then were performed without consideration for God and heeding His counsel. Lives were lived in sin and wickedness and immorality was embraced. So we learn what the result for their ignoring Noah’s warning would be….a judgement from the Almighty which would forever change the face of our world!
We are also challenged to remember that even today we are not safe if we fail to heed the warnings that God is sending. We live lives that are as shallow and sinful as were the lives of those swallowed by the flood waters.
God knew this would be, and yet He still sent to us His promised miracle….a tiny baby. He did this in the hopes that we would hear and heed and accept His promise of the life and the rewards He offers if we but make ourselves ready!
Our Second Reading
Romans 13:11-14 ESV
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Thanks Be To God!
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