Centurio Epistula –St. Matthew
St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist [September 21]
O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
Matthew, whose name was Levi, was a tax collector in Capernaum. Jesus may have given him the name Matthew, which means, "gift of the Lord." Jesus called Matthew to follow him, and he did. It appears that Matthew was so happy that he called his friends to join him in a banquet. The Pharisees outside were critical of Jesus for eating with sinners, and Jesus answered by saying he came to call the sinners to righteousness.
One of the Gospels is named for Matthew, and it is generally accepted that his sayings about Jesus are included in that Gospel. The Gospel was written in Greek, probably for Jews, to prove that Jesus was the Messiah.
Traditionally, it was believed that after working as an evangelist in Judea, Matthew traveled to the east and was there martyred.
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