Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Since there were not specific history books or records in the first century, we rely on what little information was documented and what was handed on by tradition. In the case of Matthew, all four gospels list his name as one of the Apostles. And he was known as a tax collector, working for the Roman government. He was a Jew. And he was also known as Levi. So happy feast day to all those who have the name Matthew or a derivative of the name.
It is also agreed that he is the author of the Gospel of Matthew. It might seem odd to have to say that but again there is some discussion of authorship of the books of the Bible and it is not known how others have sometimes contributed to some of the different books of the Bible. Still, everything in the Bible is recognized as inspired writings.
It is in Matthew that we are given the great Commission, to go out and preach the Gospel and baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of Holy Spirit. Matthew also lays out the course of Salvation History (God working throughout history) in the stories and parables of this gospel.
I appreciate Matthew for not of any of this but that I see him as a working person. I imagine that he was trying to do the right thing even if he worked for a ‘bad’ company. He would have suffered the abuse of his neighbors. He would have been chastised and criticized for the work he did. He would have been an outcast. Perhaps Matthew really felt caught in the job he had to do to support his family. But interiorly, Matthew knew he was not what others said about him. And when he met Jesus the opportunity to came up to finally leave what he was doing. It was a new beginning for him. It was a sign of hope. And with trust in Jesus, he followed him. So can you.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen