Pastor M. Beecroft, 09/21/2009
In our Gospel Lesson, our Lord Jesus Christ has just called Matthew to follow him. Jesus is not asking Matthew to hang out for a while and listen to his teaching. He is not promising Matthew an easy life of comfort and happiness. Jesus is not offering Matthew a better religion or system of morality. Rather, Jesus’ call on Matthew demands his entire life. To follow Jesus is to die to yourself. Matthew is called to die to himself. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, Matthew responds and follows Jesus. Today, the Holy Catholic Church commemorates the power and grace of God at work in the life of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. We know St. Matthew was an Apostle, one of the twelve, an eyewitness of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We confess St. Matthew wrote the Holy Gospel that bears his name and gives testimony to the life and ministry of our Lord. Other than that, we do not know much. Nothing definite is known about his later life. Tradition points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom. We do not know much about St. Matthew.
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