The Festival of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
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. Amen.
We Meditate on Holy Scripture:
Old Testament: Ezk. 2:8-3:11
Epistle: Eph. 4:7-14
Gospel: Matt. 9:9-13
Today we praise God for the life and ministry of Matthew, apostle and evangelist. Also known as Levi, Matthew was a tax collector, an outcast in Jesus’ day, somebody who had compromised his principles to work with the Roman government and benefit personally from gathering taxes from his countrymen. Our Lord called such as Matthew, even as he was going about his business, calling him away from the wealth to which he aspired (Matthew 9:9-13). What is more, He used Matthew to provide His Church with one of the four Gospels, the chief Gospel, in fact. Matthew’s Gospel portrays offers a look at Christ as the new and greater Moses, fulfilling the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). In Matthew’s Gospel, we are given the account of the visit of the Magi, the Sermon on the Mount, the beloved text of the Our Father used throughout English speaking Christendom, and the most explicit reference to the Holy Trinity in the narrative by which our Lord commissions and institutes the Gospel ministry of the Church (Matthew 28:16-20). Where Matthew died is unknown, and we do not know if he died a natural death or a martyr’s death. And so this day we pray that we, being inspired by the example of St. Matthew, would also follow Jesus, leaving behind all desires for anything that would hinder our calling in Christ, so to bear witness in our lives and words to the world’s Savior, even Jesus Christ our Lord.