Yesterday at Trinity we observed the minor festival named for the tax collector-turned apostle Matthew. Since it fell on a Sunday this year and since it is year A in the three year lectionary series (and I've been preaching on the gospels), it seemed good to take this opportunity. It was a little refreshing to switch to red paraments during this long green season. But it was especially interesting to think a little about Matthew's perspective in writing a Gospel account. We don't hear really anything else about Matthew except that he was a tax collector (something Matthew always makes sure to point out). In recent weeks we've seen God's generosity in the parable of the workers in the vineyard, God's complete forgiveness in the parable of the unforgiving servant, God's concern for any one sinner who goes astray in Mt 18. I think studying the call of Matthew helps explain why Matthew would write these things. Jesus had shown this same concern, forgiveness, and extreme generosity to Matthew.
As a side note, I don't think I've ever been able to use the proper preface for "minor festivals" before. As we give thanks to God for the example of faith of believers from the past, it gives new meaning to the words "therefore with all the saints on earth and hosts of heaven…"