Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13 – Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle
Leading a Christian life is challenging in its simplicity. Jesus doesn’t need us to be anyone other than ourselves in order to serve Him. And yet how often we struggle to be content with who we were individually created to be! We hold to our misguided understanding of our world and our place in it, and in doing so, risk missing an opportunity that stands right in front of us.
When Jesus tells Matthew to follow Him, Matthew does just that. He drops what he’s doing, recognizing that it’s not as valuable, promising, life-giving, loving, or satisfying as Christ, and leaves it behind. For Matthew, it’s this world or the next, and the decision is simple.
The Pharisees, on the other hand, seem to want to complicate things. They’ve injected their perspective, their preconceptions, onto the situation of this shared meal and can’t make sense of it. Jesus isn’t behaving the way they expect Him to, the way they would. Because they are tied to their reality, their question isn’t an honest and seeking one — they don’t even have the guts to ask Jesus about eating with tax collectors and sinners to His face. But our Lord hears their brokenness and responds with truth.
Jesus wants us to be honest with ourselves and with Him. When we think of Jesus, is it in our own terms or those of the Bible? When we choose how to act in a situation, is it with our own interests in mind, or does our response come from a joyful, loving heart?
Our Lord says, “Follow me.” When we get out of our own way, it really is that simple.
What stress, fear, worry, or doubt might interfere with your following Jesus today?
Lord Jesus, I desire to follow You. Through prayer and the reception of the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, help me to hear Your voice and make the simple choice to respond in love.
Copyright 2018 Lindsay Schlegel
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