Saturday, January 14, 2012

We can decide to let our trials crush us, or we can convert them to new

“God never alters the robe of righteousness to fit the man. Rather He
alters the man to fit the robe.”

Gospel text (Mk 2,13-17):
Jesus went out along the sea.
All the crowd came to him and he taught them.
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus,
sitting at the customs post.
Jesus said to him, "Follow me."
And he got up and followed Jesus.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples;
for there were many who followed him.
Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners
and tax collectors and said to his disciples,
"Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
Jesus heard this and said to them,
"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."

“Follow me!” the Lord said to Levi the tax collector (Mt. 2: 13-17).
The call was specific, and Levi heard it clearly. He had just
experienced his vocation: to follow Christ. What sort of thing was this
call? All of us have a vocation. Each has his or her own. The widow.
The grandfather. The spouse, the mother and dad. And certainly, yes,
the religious and the priest. Each has its own grace. A vocation always
occurs in the particular circumstances of one’s life, regardless of
what those circumstances may be.

Levi, also called Matthew, was one of the apostles, an evangelist who
compiled the first book of the New Testament, a missionary, and a
martyr. Matthew was also a great sinner. Jesus implied that Matthew was
spiritually sick (Mk 2:17). Even after Jesus had transformed Matthew's
life, Matthew abandoned Jesus on the cross. But Matthew repented,
received the Holy Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost, and became a
great saint.

Each of us are called to greatness. We are called and privileged to do
our unique part in God's plan of salvation. But how do we respond to
our vocation? It will always at least involve being ready to speak out
of Faith on matters of right and wrong, matters of justice, matters of
forgiveness, truth, and God’s love. It will always involve reverencing
and helping the others God places into our lives – by caring for the
ones, for example, who are hurting and truly needy, or by speaking up
to those who are in a position to live in service of others. Finally,
we can test the authenticity of a vocation by prayer and serious
discernment. Take the time and create the circumstances to be attentive
to God’s presence, to enter into “silence” with Our Lord about the
direction of your future, to let the Holy Spirit work His wonders in
you personally for committing yourself in that direction, and to
welcome the graces He so much wants to give you to help you along the

Nonetheless, like Matthew, we have sinned before and even after our
conversions. By our sins, we have done our part in contributing to
Jesus' sufferings on the cross (Catechism, 598). Yet the Lord is
calling us to repentance. He wants to give us a new Pentecost in which
He will restore us to greatness and lead us to even greater things

Like Matthew, let us rise from the ruins of sin to the glorious
greatness of the sons and daughters of God.

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