Feast of St Matthew, the apostle
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 9: 9-13) tells of how Matthew was called by Jesus to follow him.
Fr Paul says today we celebrate Matthew’s life and the difficulty is we don’t know that much about him. We know he is the son of Alphaeus. We know he was born in Capernaum. We know he worked as a tax collector when Jesus called him (as we hear in today’s Gospel). We need to keep in mind that being a tax collector was a hated profession.
We also know Matthew wrote an early version of his Gospel in Aramaic, in the hope of convincing his fellow people that Jesus was the Messiah. It is believed he travelled to escape persecution to the East. We are not exactly sure to where but places such as Parthia, Persia and Ethiopia are mentioned.
We don’t know when and we don’t know how or where Matthew died.
Fr Paul says, as we remember and celebrate Matthew’s life, we might also remember the very gift he has given us through his Gospel – as one of the four Gospel writers, we give thanks to God for what he has given us.