Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
Move to: Previous Day | Next Day

Ordinary Time: September 21st

Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist; Ember Wednesday

Other Titles: Levi

MASS READINGS

September 21, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)

PROPERS [Show]

COLLECT PRAYER

Feast of St. Matthew: O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

show

Recipes (4)

show

Activities (4)

show

Prayers (2)

show

Library (6)

show

Blog & Podcasts (4)

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

Today is the Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. At the time that Jesus summoned him to follow Him, Matthew was a publican, that is, a tax-collector for the Romans. His profession was hateful to the Jews because it reminded them of their subjection; the publican, also, was regarded by the pharisees as the typical sinner. St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist. In the early Church, Matthew’s Gospel was thought the first to be written, which explains its position in the New Testament.

The beginning of the Autumn or September Embertide, begins today with Ember Wednesday. These Ember Days fall after the third Sunday of September near the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14) and are days of thanksgiving for the completed harvest of fruits and grapes, being historically commemorated as a "wine-press feast." But these Ember Days are also days of penance and atonement since the traditional liturgy connected them with the Jewish celebration of the New Year and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. The Stational churches were part of the Ember Days, with Ember Wednesdays always being with Mary, Station with Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major).

The Ember Days also are no longer universally marked on the General Roman Calendar. In the 1969 Calendar reform (see General Instruction on the Roman Missal), the observance of Ember Days was left to the discretion of the conference of bishops, and can be adjusted and expanded. In the USA most bishops have chosen to not officially observe Ember Days, but in other countries they are observed. While Ember Days are not part of the whole community worship, personal observance at home or small communities is not discouraged.

See September or Fall Ember Days and Contemporary Observation of Ember Days.

Stational Church >>>


St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
No one was more shunned by the Jews than a publican, who was a Jew working for the Roman enemy by robbing his own people and making a large personal profit. Publicans were not allowed to trade, eat, or even pray with others Jews.

One day, while seated at his table of books and money, Jesus looked at Matthew and said two words: "Follow me." This was all that was needed to make Matthew rise, leaving his pieces of silver to follow Christ. His original name, "Levi," in Hebrew signifies "Adhesion" while his new name in Christ, Matthew, means "Gift of God." The only other outstanding mention of Matthew in the Gospels is the dinner party for Christ and His companions to which he invited his fellow tax-collectors. The Jews were surprised to see Jesus with a publican, but Jesus explained that he had come "not to call the just, but sinners."

St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist, with his Gospel being the first in position in the New Testament. His Gospel was written to convince the Jews that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus.

Not much else is known about Matthew. According to tradition, he preached in Egypt and Ethiopia and further places East. Some legends say he lived until his nineties, dying a peaceful death, others say he died a martyr's death.

In the traditional symbolization of the evangelists, based on Ezech. 1:5-10 and Rev. 4:6-7, the image of the winged man is accorded to Matthew because his Gospel begins with the human genealogy of Christ.

Patronage: Accountants; bankers; bookkeepers; customs officers; security guards; stock brokers; tax collectors; Salerno, Italy.

Symbols and Representation: Angel holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins; loose coins; halberd; inkwell; king; lance; man holding money; man holding money box and/or glasses; money bag; money box; purse; spear; sword; winged man; young man; book; man sitting at a desk.

Highlights and Things to Do: