This piece on St. Matthew first appeared in the Autumn 2020 Scripture issue of Evangelization & Culture, the quarterly journal of the Word on Fire Institute. Learn more and become a member today to read more pieces like this.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. (Matt. 9:9)
Perhaps the best-known artistic depiction of this event is Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew, kept today at the Church of St. Louis of the French in Rome. In this canvas, four men sit with Matthew—also called Levi—at a table counting money. Jesus and St. Peter stand in the doorway with their fingers extended toward the tax collector: he is being chosen. God is offering grace to the sinner.