God our Father, in your eyes I am like a
little child whom you tenderly watch over. God the Son, in your eyes I am like a poor, helpless
sheep whom you gently pick up and carry when I'm worn out from my sins. God the Holy Spirit, in your
eyes I am like a dry piece of wood that you wish to set ablaze with the fire of your love. Thank
you, Holy Trinity, for wanting to bring me into your holy friendship. I am completely unworthy of
your love but so grateful to find rest and a true home in you.
Lord, grant me a generous heart.
1. He Got Up and Followed Him:
rose and followed him. The conciseness of the phrase clearly underlines Matthew's promptness in
response to the call…. In this rising one can see the detachment from a situation of sin and, at the
same time, the conscious adherence to a new life, upright, in communion with Jesus" (Pope Benedict
XVI, General Audience, August 30, 2006). Holiness of life is not simply separation from what is
sinful, but a participation in the love and holiness of God. It is not just separation from
something, but transformation into the someone God has created us to be. When he calls, Jesus never
gives us a map, only a compass. We do not see the full picture, we simply know the direction. Each
day he invites us to follow him, to deepen the communion of love with him, and to keep our eyes
fixed on him as on a "lamp shining in a dark place" (2 Peter 1:19). Matthew really had no clue where
his life would end up. But he did know that it had to change and where that change needed to begin.
Matthew was so utterly convinced that Jesus was worthy of his trust that he surrendered his life to
him. We must daily choose to follow Matthew's example of how to follow Jesus.
2. While He
Was at Table in His House:
"Behold! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice
and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me" (Revelation 3:20). They
are celebrating Matthew's vocation to follow Jesus. Matthew could have said "no" or "not yet" or
"not now." But consider the effects if such a refusal had taken place. For starters there would have
been no dinner feast, and consequently many of Matthew's friends would have missed an intimate
encounter with Jesus that night an encounter that forever changed some of their lives. Jesus
knocked at the door of Matthew's life, and Matthew opened it wide to Jesus. Then, like the Samaritan
woman, he ran to get others so that they too might meet Jesus. By way of Matthew's "yes," Jesus
started touching the lives of others. Whenever we say "yes" to Jesus, he will work not only in us,
but also through us. Once again, today he will invite us to say "yes" to his will and thereby be his
instrument of grace for others. "I am standing at the door, knocking.…"
3. Why Does Your
Teacher Eat with Tax Collectors and Sinners? He does so that we might learn two lessons:
depth of his love for every soul, and how we must love others unconditionally. "God proves his love
for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Loving a person
unconditionally does not mean that we blithely accept their sin. We love them despite their sin and
in the hope that one day they will leave it aside. Mercy is the one form of love that we can never
directly exercise toward God, yet it is his greatest expression of love for each one of us. Through
Jesus dying on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins, God has revealed the pinnacle of love. Thus,
when we practice mercy, forgiveness, patience, etc. towards those around us, we are imitating the
highest form of love. Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners for the same reason he called
Matthew to follow him: because he loves us and wants to share his life with
Conversation with Christ:
Lord Jesus, the call to follow you is a call to
conversion of heart.
Touch my heart with your grace in such a way that my thoughts
actions may always reflect my desire to imitate your example
of love. Make me patient in each
situation and capable of forgiving
those who may cause me harm or create difficulties.
Today I will speak to someone whether a family member, friend,
coworker, acquaintance or stranger about my gratitude to Jesus Christ.