Thursday, September 21, 2017SAINT MATTHEW
Saint Matthew is famous as having been called by Jesus from, in the words of the old Prayer Book, “the receipt of custom,” to follow Jesus and be an apostle and evangelist. In other words, Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were viewed by Matthew’s fellow Jews as collaborators with the Roman State who made their living by taking money from their own people for the hated overlords and often enriched themselves in so doing. Devout Pharisees refused to marry into a family that had a member who was a tax collector, a “publican.” When Matthew held a dinner party for his fellow publicans and invited Jesus to attend (which he did), the Pharisees sharply criticized Jesus for keeping bad company. Jesus’ reply was that he came not to call the righteous but sinners.
The biblical scholars note that Saint Matthew’s Gospel is especially remarkable for its “sayings of Jesus.” While his Gospel, with important differences, largely follows the structure of the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Matthew is especially cherished for his record, among other sayings, of the Sermon on the Mount.
Learn more about Matthew from the Rector, in his weekly audio message.
We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy 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 liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.