Matthew was a tax collector in the city of Capernaum, where Jesus was living. He was a Jew but he was working for the Romans, who had conquered the Jews. For this reason, his countrymen disliked him. They would not have anything to do with these "public sinners," as tax collectors like Matthew were called.
But Jesus did not feel that way about Matthew. One day, Jesus saw Matthew sitting in his office and he said, "Follow me." At once, Matthew left his money and his position to follow Jesus. He seemed so holy and king-like. Matthew gave a big supper for Jesus. He invited other friends like himself to meet Jesus and listen to him teach. Some people found fault with Jesus for sharing a meal with those whom they considered sinners. However, Jesus had a ready answer. "They who are well do not need a doctor; the sick do. I have not come to call the just, but sinners to repentance."
When Jesus went back to heaven, St. Matthew stayed in Palestine. He remained there for some time to preach about the Lord. We are familiar with the Gospel of Matthew, which is the story of Jesus and what he taught. St. Matthew presents Jesus to his own people. The Lord is the Messiah whom the prophets had said would come to save us.
After preaching the Gospel to many people, St. Matthew ended his life as a glorious martyr for the faith.
"You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt. 5:48)