The Feast of St. Matthew

Today is the Feast day of St. Matthew, Apostle and evangelist of the Gospel of Matthew. He is identified as a tax collector for the Roman authorities (Mt 9:9 and 10:3) In passages parallel to Matthew 9:9, both Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus’ calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve. As a tax collector, his fellow Jews would have despised him for what was seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force. The Pharisees lumped them with “sinners” (Mt 9:11-13) He is noted as being a witness to the Ascension, otherwise, he is unnamed among the accounts of the gospel that often only mention a select few of the Apostles by name. Continue reading