Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew. Matthew penned the first Gospel. His Jewish name was Levi. (We find this in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.) He is believed to have been martyred in Ethiopia or Persia. St. Matthew is the patron saint of accountants, tax collectors, bankers and bookkeepers.
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 9, we see the call of Matthew. He was a tax collector, busy at work when Jesus comes and says, “Follow me.” He did just that. As a tax collector, Matthew would have been hated by the Jews. He was considered a sellout, a traitor. Tax collectors often practiced extortion. His contemporaries probably had no love for this guy.
The thing that most strikes me about this story is that with Matthew, there was no hesitation. As a tax collector, he was probably well-to-do. Perhaps he felt a bit of an allegiance to Rome. But none of that seemed to matter. He immediately left his post and followed Jesus. I'm sure he had no idea where he was following Jesus to. As I'm sure was the case with Matthew, there are so many things that keep us tied to the world. Let's pray that we will be willing to follow Jesus with no hesitation.
Father, when Jesus calls, give us the grace, strength and courage to follow Him without hesitation. Amen. St. Matthew, pray for us.
So many Catholics know so little about the faith. Help them learn in a minute by getting A Minute in the Church for your whole parish. Order today at www.GusLloyd.com.