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
1. He Got Up and Followed Him:
"He 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
"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:
The 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 us.
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
and actions may always reflect my desire to imitate
of love. Make me patient in each situation and capable of forgiving
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.