Today we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Matthew, Apostle to Christ and Gospel Writer of the Gospel According to Matthew. He directed his Gospel toward those of the Jewish faith, who followed Christ. He traveled to places like Ethiopia and Parthia, as a true evangelist and missionary.
After I spent 36 years of my life in the financial industry, I relate well to Saint Matthew, the patron saint of tax collectors, accountants and customs officers. Saint Matthew understood the use, means and purpose of money, and he gave it all up to follow Christ. Saint Matthew and I seem alike, in one way, in that we both gave up financial careers to follow Christ as evangelists and writers. Yet, I will be the first to admit that I’m no Saint Matthew! My writing and evangelistic capabilities couldn’t hold a candle to the magnificent work done by this beloved man.
What Saint Matthew Teaches in His Gospel
Within the Gospel of Saint Matthew, we see how he showed Jesus fulfilling the promises of the Old Testament, manifested in Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection. Matthew frequently quoted the Old Testament, and then demonstrated Jesus fulfilling these prophesies.
I find great solace in Matthew’s Gospel, as he writes about the Beatitudes (filled with virtue) (Matt 5: 3-12). He relates Christ’s teaching of the Our Father (Matt. 6:9-14). When I find myself worrying too much, I go to Matthew 6:25-34 and find peace. I find the story of the rich young man very compelling and thought-provoking (Matt 19:16-30), making me think about, and evaluate, my own life. For example: Am I doing enough for Christ? I see the truths of our faith regarding Church authority and the sacrament of Reconciliation when I read Matt 16:13-20.
Today is a day to celebrate Saint Matthew. Take some time today and open up your Bible. Read some passages from the Gospel of Saint Matthew and let them speak to your heart. What better way to honor such a beloved saint!