Feast of St. Matthew the Evangelist, Apostle and Martyr (September 21)   4 comments

Above:  St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

He Followed Jesus

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The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Proverbs 3:1-6

Psalm 119:33-40

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Matthew 9:9-13

The Collect:

We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your 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 lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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St. Matthew, a.k.a. Levi, was a Judean Jew who collected taxes for the Roman Empire.  The tax collection system of the time constituted theft, with tax collectors taking money above the Roman quota and keeping the difference for themselves.  So he was a seemingly unlikely choice to join Jesus’ inner circle, but obviously our Lord and Savior recognized much potential in St. Matthew.

After the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus St. Matthew preached the Gospel close to home in Judea .  After fifteen or so years of this he traveled abroad–from Ethiopia to Persia, according to tradition, eventually becoming a martyr.

Unreliable ecclesiastical tradition attributes one of the canonical Gospels to St. Matthew.  This attribution dates to the influential theologian Origen (c.185-c.254 C.E.).  The canonical Gospel (dated 85-90 C.E.) attributed to him does not name an author, however, and the consensus among modern Biblical scholars is that the work is anonymous, the product of a Jewish Christian at Antioch of Syria.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2010

THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

A Related Post:  http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/week-of-1-epiphany-saturday-year-1/

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Posted June 13, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Saints of the Bible, September 21

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