The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Catechetical Saints: St. Matthew the Apostle

Authored by Sr. M. Johanna Paruch in Issue #35.3 of The Sower
In the past few articles I have been looking at the Apostles as catechetical saints. As I have mentioned before, twice this past year I had the opportunity to go to Rome. On both trips I was able to visit the Church of St. Louis where Caravaggio’s famous painting of the Calling of St. Matthew is displayed. It was a great blessing for me to see the painting in person. It never ceases to remind me of my own vocation, which is why I have a large print of the painting in my office. In many ways, we can look at the Gospel of St. Matthew as the catechist’s Gospel, so let’s take the opportunity here to look at his vocation. Matthew’s call is unique to the apostles because of his profession and the “sin” associated with it. He was a tax collector working for the Romans. The Jews hated his profession. We must admit that the profession is not very popular even today, but Jesus called him anyway. St Paul says, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more” (Rom. 5:20). This was certainly true for Matthew, also known as Levi. Pope Benedict wrote that to read Matthew 9:9 is to “recall Caravaggio’s magnificent canvas” (Wednesday Audience, 30 August 2006). In Caravaggio’s painting, we see Jesus calling Matthew. He is sitting at his job surrounded by obviously rich men, all counting money in front of them. Matthew knows that he is being called to something, and yet his attention is still on the money. He is aware that Jesus has come to his house, the house of a sinner, and is moved to follow Jesus. Matthew’s conversion is personal and profound.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!

This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Toward a Eucharistic Revival
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The Feast of Corpus Christi last month was a momentous event in the life of the Church in the United States. The celebration of this liturgy begins a Eucharistic revival, a period of historic importance that will culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in the summer of 2024. The need for “revival” in relation to the Eucharist... Read more
The Spiritual Life: How the Eucharist Catechizes about the Meaning of Life
By Bishop Andrew Cozzens
Free The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is currently undertaking a Eucharistic revival. The idea for it began in 2019 when the bishops decided that we needed to respond to the moment of crisis in belief in the Eucharist in which we find ourselves—not only the discouraging results of the 2019 Pew study that reported that less than 30... Read more
The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
By Brian Pedraza
Free The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist should be numbered among the most kerygmatic of the Church’s doctrines. Here is where the Son of God, who out of the immensity of his divine love became incarnate, has chosen to dwell amongst his people until the end of time. Here is where divine charity makes itself available to the human heart. Here... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now