St. Matthew

Friends in Christ, Today is the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle. Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were looked down upon because of their shady lives.
The meeting of Christ and Matthew is a most beautiful one, for we learn as much about Matthew, as we do about the heart of Christ. Fr. Goodier in his book, relates to us the scene of the gospel:
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One cool morning in Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples pass down a main street; past shops and venders. At the corner is a man seated at a low table with paper and a metal box with coins. This was the customs collector, the future St. Matthew. Matthew had his sins. He had not always been fair; his life had shadows of which he was not proud. Yet inside his heart, was a distant longing; a yearning to leave his sins and to be happy again. Deep down, he yearned to be a child again, and to be good. But alas, his destiny was to be what he is; it was his lot to live with sinners, these were the cards he was dealt in life.
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Yet that cool morning, writes Father Goodier, Matthew’s eye caught the distant approach of the Master, of whom he had heard. He recognized the men with him: he had dealt with them in business before. As he watched Jesus coming up the street, a desire rushed into his soul. For a moment, he wished that he could be where they were, with Christ; but this was not his lot in life.
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With thoughts like these running through his head, he turned his eyes back to his work. But what was this? Jesus came and stood at his counter. He didn’t dare look up. Jesus stood and waited, a touch of gentle humor lighting up his face. Matthew could endure it no longer; he raised his eyes and looked to those which were looking down at him. Jesus’ eyes caught his, and as with so many others before him, Matthew realized – that Jesus knew him.
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To see the eyes of God, is to see your Creator; it is to look into the eyes of the one who knows everything about you; and to know that you are loved. And there is no more wonderful sound in the world, than the words which Matthew heard that day: ‘Follow me.’
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Bursting with an unknown happiness, he immediately arose and followed him. The joy of that day never left St. Matthew, who spent his life serving his Master, even as a martyr.
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The Venerable Bede says, Our Lord spoke that day to Matthew by the invisible impulse of grace, and he still speaks to us in this same way, each day

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