The Introit

I desire mercy, and not | sacrifice.*
For I came not to call the righteous, but | sinners.

It is good to give thanks | to the LORD,*
to sing praises to your name, | O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the | morning,*
and your faithful- | ness by night,
to the music of the lute | and the harp,*
to the melody | of the lyre.
For you, O LORD, have made me glad | by your work;*
at the works of your hands | I sing for joy.
How great are your works, | O LORD!*
Your thoughts are | very deep!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.

I desire mercy, and not | sacrifice.*
For I came not to call the righteous, but | sinners.

The Collect of the Day

O Son of God, our blessed Savior Jesus Christ, You called Matthew the tax collector to be an apostle and evangelist. Through his faithful and inspired witness, grant that we also may follow You, leaving behind all covetous desires and love of riches; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 
St. Matthew  , after 1631, Copy after Jacques Callot, French, from  the Philadelphia Museum of Art

St. Matthew, after 1631, Copy after Jacques Callot, French, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Gradual

Your word is a lamp | to my feet*
and a light | to my path.
How sweet are your words | to my taste,*
sweeter than honey | to my mouth!
My heart overflows with a | pleasing theme;*
my tongue is like the pen of a | ready scribe.

The First Lesson 

Ezekiel 2:8-3:11

"But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.

Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.

And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.

Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”

Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”

The Epistle

Ephesians 4:7-16

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

 
S. Matthew  , 16th Century, by Artist Unknown, Italy from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art   

S. Matthew, 16th Century, by Artist Unknown, Italy from the Philadelphia Museum of Art 

The Holy Gospel

Matthew 9:9-13

Alleluia. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Alleluia.

As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.

Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”