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Born: First century
Died: mid-late first century
FEast: Sept. 21st
Patron of:  
bankers, tax and finance workers, accountants, security

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St. Matthew

Bio

 

    We know that Matthew was called the son of a man named Alpheus, and though we don't know where he was from (likely somewhere around Galilee), he meets Jesus while at work in Capernaum. Matthew's job was aa a tax collector, and though he was Jewish, the Jewish people did not like tax collectors because they worked for the Romans, who were their oppressors. On top of that, tax collectors were also known to frequently take more money than what was required to provide for themselves.

Regardless of whether or not others were happy with or believed that Matthew even deserved to be called, Jesus called him to join the Apostles upon meeting him. In response, Matthew took the invitation and prepared a feast that was criticized by the Jewish religious authorities because of Matthew's job, prompting Jesus' response that he came not for the righteous but for sinners.

Matthew was able to do what many could not, and gave up all his possessions (which may have been many) to follow Jesus. He was with the Apostles throughout Jesus' ministry, and also witnessed Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension.

After this, it is thought that he went to Persia or Ethiopia to preach. We don't have a record of his death, but he was likely martyred for this. He wrote his Gospel and did most of his ministry for the Jewish people, and that is evident in his choice to include many references to the Old Testament stories they would have known and understood as he tried to prove to them Jesus' fulfillment of the role of the Messiah. He was also the only writer to include the Beatitudes, describing coming blessings for the ones who have suffered in this world.

His Gospel symbol is a man with wings because of his emphasis on Jesus being both completely God and completely human at the same time.

Prayer

 

money is so tough. For you, it was a temptation to be rich, but you left all money behind to follow Jesus. Though most of us need it to survive, guide us in how we use it, think of it, share it, and give it away. inspire the hearts of those with much of it to be generous. 
Amen. 

Art Reflection

 

High school is an interesting time during which many people get their first jobs, and, with that, their first sources of income. I used references of some of the men I knew at that time in my life as they debated the best ways to use (or abuse) their new funds. I wanted his expression to be reminiscent of that decision - knowing what's right but not wanting to give up what could be more fun. He also holds a pen as a symbol of his Gospel, and wears all brown as a traditional color of finance.

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