It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick
As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’
Source: Jerusalem Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church
2098 The acts of faith, hope, and charity enjoined by the first commandment are accomplished in prayer. Lifting up the mind toward God is an expression of our adoration of God: prayer of praise and thanksgiving, intercession and petition. Prayer is an indispensable condition for being able to obey God’s commandments. “[We] ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
2099 It is right to offer sacrifice to God as a sign of adoration and gratitude, supplication and communion: “Every action done so as to cling to God in communion of holiness, and thus achieve blessedness, is a true sacrifice.”
2100 Outward sacrifice, to be genuine, must be the expression of spiritual sacrifice: “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit. . . . ” The prophets of the Old Covenant often denounced sacrifices that were not from the heart or not coupled with love of neighbor. Jesus recalls the words of the prophet Hosea: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” The only perfect sacrifice is the one that Christ offered on the cross as a total offering to the Father’s love and for our salvation. By uniting ourselves with his sacrifice we can make our lives a sacrifice to God.
For the leader. Of David, the servant of the LORD, who sang to the LORD the words of this song after the LORD had rescued him from the clutches of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
He said: I love you, LORD, my strength,
LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim! I have been delivered from my enemies.
The breakers of death surged round about me; the menacing floods terrified me.
The cords of Sheol tightened; the snares of death lay in wait for me.
In my distress I called out: LORD! I cried out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry to him reached his ears.
The earth rocked and shook; the foundations of the mountains trembled; they shook as his wrath flared up.
Smoke rose in his nostrils, a devouring fire poured from his mouth; it kindled coals into flame.
He parted the heavens and came down, a dark cloud under his feet.
Mounted on a cherub he flew, borne along on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness the cover about him; his canopy, heavy thunderheads.
Before him scudded his clouds, hail and lightning too.
The LORD thundered from heaven; the Most High made his voice resound.
He let fly his arrows and scattered them; shot his lightning bolts and dispersed them.
Then the bed of the sea appeared; the world’s foundations lay bare, At the roar of the LORD, at the storming breath of his nostrils.
He reached down from on high and seized me; drew me out of the deep waters.
He rescued me from my mighty enemy, from foes too powerful for me.
They attacked me on a day of distress, but the LORD came to my support.
He set me free in the open; he rescued me because he loves me.
The LORD acknowledged my righteousness, rewarded my clean hands.
For I kept the ways of the LORD; I was not disloyal to my God.
His laws were all before me, his decrees I did not cast aside.
I was honest toward him; I was on guard against sin.
So the LORD rewarded my righteousness, the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
Toward the faithful you are faithful; to the honest you are honest;
Toward the sincere, sincere; but to the perverse you are devious.
Humble people you save; haughty eyes you bring low.
You, LORD, give light to my lamp; my God brightens the darkness about me.
With you I can rush an armed band, with my God to help I can leap a wall.
God’s way is unerring; the LORD’S promise is tried and true; he is a shield for all who trust in him.
Truly, who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is the rock?
This God who girded me with might, kept my way unerring,
Who made my feet swift as a deer’s, set me safe on the heights,
Who trained my hands for war, my arms to bend even a bow of bronze.
You have given me your protecting shield; your right hand has upheld me; you stooped to make me great.
You gave me room to stride; my feet never stumbled.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till I destroyed them.
I struck them down; they could not rise; they fell dead at my feet.
You girded me with strength for war, subdued adversaries at my feet.
My foes you put to flight before me; those who hated me I destroyed.
They cried for help, but no one saved them; cried to the LORD but got no answer.
I ground them fine as dust in the wind; like mud in the streets I trampled them down.
You rescued me from the strife of peoples; you made me head over nations. A people I had not known became my slaves;
as soon as they heard of me they obeyed. Foreigners cringed before me;
their courage failed; they came trembling from their fortresses.
The LORD lives! Blessed be my rock! Exalted be God, my savior!
O God who granted me vindication, made peoples subject to me,
and preserved me from my enemies, Truly you have exalted me above my adversaries, from the violent you have rescued me.
Thus I will proclaim you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.
You have given great victories to your king, and shown kindness to your anointed, to David and his posterity forever.
Source: The New American Bible
Matthew the Apostle (Hebrew: מַתִּתְיָהוּ Mattityahu or מתי Mattay, “Gift of YHVH”; Greek: Ματθαῖος Matthaios; also known as Saint Matthew and as Levi) was, according to the Christian Bible, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists.
In the New Testament
Among the early followers and apostles of Jesus, Matthew is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican who, while sitting at the “receipt of custom” in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus. Matthew may have collected taxes from the Hebrew people for Herod Antipas. Matthew is also listed among the twelve, but without identification of his background, in Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. In passages parallel to Matthew 9:9, both Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus’ calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve apostles.
Matthew was a 1st-century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Iudaea province), the son of Alpheus. As a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek. His fellow Jews would have despised him for what was seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force.
After his call, Matthew invited Jesus home for a feast. On seeing this, the Scribes and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. This prompted Jesus to answer, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)
The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus. Afterwards, the disciples withdrew to an upper room (Acts 1:10–14) (traditionally the Cenacle) in Jerusalem. The disciples remained in and about Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
In the Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) “Mattai” is one of five disciples of “Jeshu”.
Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1) and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr, although this was rejected by the gnostic heretic Heracleon as early as the second century.
The Gospel of Matthew is anonymous: the author is not named within the text, and the superscription “according to Matthew” was added some time in the second century. The tradition that the author was the disciple Matthew begins with the early Christian bishop Papias of Hierapolis (c. 100–140 CE), who is cited by the Church historian Eusebius (260–340 CE), as follows: “Matthew collected the oracles (logia: sayings of or about Jesus) in the Hebrew language ( Hebraïdi dialektōi), and each one interpreted (hērmēneusen – perhaps “translated”) them as best he could.”[Notes 1]
On the surface, this has been taken to imply that Matthew’s Gospel itself was written in Hebrew or Aramaic by the apostle Matthew and later translated into Greek, but nowhere does the author claim to have been an eyewitness to events, and Matthew’s Greek “reveals none of the telltale marks of a translation”. Scholars have put forward several theories to explain Papias: perhaps Matthew wrote two gospels, one, now lost, in Hebrew, the other our Greek version; or perhaps the logia was a collection of sayings rather than the gospel; or by dialektōi Papias may have meant that Matthew wrote in the Jewish style rather than in the Hebrew language. The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not in Aramaic or Hebrew.
Non-canonical or Apocryphal Gospels
In the 3rd-century Jewish–Christian gospels attributed to Matthew were used by Jewish–Christian groups such as the Nazarenes and Ebionites. Fragments of these gospels survive in quotations by Jerome, Epiphanius and others. Most academic study follows the distinction of Gospel of the Nazarenes (26 fragments), Gospel of the Ebionites (7 fragments), and Gospel of the Hebrews (7 fragments) found in Schneemelcher’s New Testament Apocrypha. Critical commentators generally regard these texts as having been composed in Greek and related to Greek Matthew. A minority of commentators consider them to be fragments of a lost Aramaic or Hebrew language original.
The Infancy Gospel of Matthew is a 7th-century compilation of three other texts: the Protevangelium of James, the Flight into Egypt, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.
Origen said the first Gospel was written by Matthew. This Gospel was composed in Hebrew near Jerusalem for Hebrew Christians and translated into Greek, but the Greek copy was lost. The Hebrew original was kept at the Library of Caesarea. The Nazarene Community transcribed a copy for Jerome which he used in his work. Matthew’s Gospel was called the Gospel according to the Hebrews or sometimes the Gospel of the Apostles and it was once believed that it was the original to the Greek Matthew found in the Bible. However, this has been challenged by modern biblical scholars such as Bart Ehrman and James R. Edwards.
Jerome relates that Matthew was supposed by the Nazarenes to have composed their Gospel of the Hebrews though Irenaeus and Epiphanius of Salamis consider this simply a revised version canonical Gospel. This Gospel has been partially preserved in the writings of the Church Fathers, said to have been written by Matthew. Epiphanius does not make his own the claim about a Gospel of the Hebrews written by Matthew, a claim that he merely attributes to the heretical Ebionites.
Matthew is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican churches. (See St. Matthew’s Church.) His feast day is celebrated on 21 September in the West and 16 November in the East. (For those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 16 November currently falls on 29 November of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is also commemorated by the Orthodox, together with the other Apostles, on 30 June (13 July), the Synaxis of the Holy Apostles. His tomb is located in the crypt of Salerno Cathedral in southern Italy.
Like the other evangelists, Matthew is often depicted in Christian art with one of the four living creatures of Revelation 4:7. The one that accompanies him is in the form of a winged man. The three paintings of Matthew by Caravaggio in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where he is depicted as called by Christ from his profession as tax gatherer, are among the landmarks of Western art.
The Quran speaks of Jesus’ disciples but does not mention their names, instead referring to them as “helpers to the work of God”. Muslim exegesis and Qur’an commentary, however, name them and include Matthew amongst the disciples. Muslim exegesis preserves the tradition that Matthew, with Andrew, were the two disciples who went to Ethiopia (not the African country, but a region called ‘Ethiopia’ south of the Caspian Sea) to preach the message of God.