Thursday, September 21, 2017

Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelis

Saint Matthew and the Angel (1661)

Today the church remembers Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.

The Tax Collector Turned Disciple Matthew, sometimes called Levi, was a tax collector and, as any student of history or scripture knows, that put him in a despised class in first-century Palestine. In fact, he was sitting in his tax office when Jesus called him to be a disciple. As if it were not scandalous enough for Jesus to include such a person in his group, he allowed and encouraged Matthew to bring in more tax collectors. Of course, Jesus demanded and got such a radical change in these men that they were no longer recognizable as tax collectors. The apostle Matthew is not generally regarded as the author of the gospel which bears his name, but he probably contributed the essential information that went into its writing. We have a lot of conflicting legends about his later life, but no reliable information.

Matthew is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican churches. His feast day is celebrated on 21 September in the West and 16 November in the East. He is also commemorated by the Orthodox, together with the other Apostles, on 30 June, the Synaxis of the Holy Apostles. His tomb is located in the crypt of Salerno Cathedral in southern Italy.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

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.

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