St Matthew is one of my patron saints. The twist here is that I did not choose him; he chose me. Very important things in my life began happening on his feast day or in and around churches and other places named for him and thus under his patronage. In a way I suppose that I ought to feel honoured, but most what I feel is a bit scared. This is the twenty-first century and things like this are not supposed to happen and continue to happen.
Nonetheless I am happy that this year his feast fell upon a Sunday. That means that I can pay a little more attention to it and celebrate it with a little more splendour than normal. The ancient custom of the feasts of the greater saints as well as the feasts of dedication and title displacing the proper of the Sunday during lesser liturgical seasons seems a more than fitting way of celebrating what Jesus the Annointed can do in the lives of quite ordinary people when they fully surrender and commit themselves to Him.
Unfortunately the number of us doing that for St Matthew and those other of the apostles whose feast fell upon a Sunday this year is going to be a great deal fewer that in past years and centuries. Why? Because the modern liturgical movement, rejecting tradition instead of explicating it. This means that those still in TEC and in the new Anglican lite groups who fail to understand that the 1979 book is heretical will be doing a Sunday after Trinity - excuse me, a Sunday after Pentecost - as they have broken with the ancient tradition of the English Church and classical and orthodox prayer book Anglicanism for something invented almost yesterday. This is not only a denial of Anglicanism; it is a rejection of Biblical principle which tells us to keep to the old paths, the ancient ways.
St Matthew wrote his gospel for the Jewish people and quoted extensively from the Old Testament so that they would know that it was all about the Messiah, his coming and his mission. Eusebius says that he wrote his gospel originally in Hebrew before translating it into Greek. He wanted the Jews, his people, to know that Jesus was the Lord for whom they waited and that he had come at last to same them and us from our sins. And this, above all things, is the reason that we should honour him this day because in honouring him we actually honour the one who was his Lord and Saviour and, hopefully by his gospel, ours as well.