Saint Matthew (1st century)

for September 21

Matthew was a Jew who collected taxes for the Romans, who occupied Israel during the life of Jesus. The tax collectors were usually hated by their fellow Jews. Some strict Jews like the Pharisees considered tax collectors to be sinners because they handled Roman currency that had on it the image of Caesar—which the Pharisees considered to be idolatry. Thus many people were shocked when Jesus chose Matthew to be one of his closest followers. By choosing Matthew, Jesus shows us that no one is beyond hearing and responding to God’s call. (Taken from "Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.")

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As we read about the lives of the saints and hear messages on God's teachings, we often incorrectly assume that a person's holiness directly corresponds with how much God loves and pursues that person. Matthew reminds us that Jesus came to show us that God deeply loves and accepts even those we consider the worst sinners. Imagine the many sins of which you are guilty. Now imagine God brushing them aside and telling you that, regardless of your wrongdoing, he loves you and wants to be in your life forever.


Dear Jesus, help me to be fully aware of God's love and acceptance of me. Help me to love others and accept them as you do.