The Feast of Saint Matthew: A Preview of Things to Come
I love movie trailers, or previews, as they are more commonly known. Whenever I see a movie in the theater, I make sure to arrive early not only for a good seat but also because I don’t want to miss the previews. Movie previews are fun because they show you what you can expect to see in the next upcoming blockbuster. For example, I was ecstatic when I saw the first preview of last year’s new Star Wars movie in 2014. The preview came out a little over a year before the actual film opened, which was a bit unprecedented. However, the footage that was shown in the preview got me very excited to return to a galaxy far, far away. The preview did its job of promoting the upcoming movie.
Today’s feast is St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, which not only commemorates the Gospel writer and disciple of Jesus, but also gives us a preview of our readings for the new church year that begins on Advent I (November 27). The Gospel Matthew, like the other Gospels, offers a special, unique portrayal of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We, as the church, will have the great opportunity to read through the Gospel of Matthew and learn what Matthew wanted his ancient and modern audiences to know about Jesus told from his perspective. While we already know the main points of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, each of the Gospels gives us special insight about Jesus and what he meant to the early church and what we, as the modern church, can learn about him and apply his life to our lives and faith journeys.
I encourage you to read the lessons from today’s feast of Matthew as a preview of the next Gospel that we will read in the new church year. I also encourage anyone to participate in a short, three-week Bible study I will lead on the Gospel of Matthew in Advent (see the Adult Formation Brochure for more information) But for the time being, enjoy the last few months in the Gospel of Luke and look forward to reading Matthew at the end of November.