Today the Church remembers St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Matthew started his career as a tax collector, despised by devout Jews because he worked for the Roman government, and, as an unpaid agent of that government, was believed to cheat those who paid their taxes by adding exorbitant fees for his services. Not a popular man. When Jesus said to him, “Follow me,” Matthew left everything behind and followed Jesus as one of the twelve disciples.
Little is known about Matthew’s life and work following Pentecost. It is believed that he continued his work of sharing the Good News in a community that was mostly Jewish. The gospel bearing his name was most likely not written by him, but certainly contains the stories, teachings and memories he would have shared with his community. These same stories live today for us as reminders that Jesus called all sorts of people to follow him, and as examples for us and countless generations who continue to follow Jesus in our own time and place.
Let us pray:
We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing,