Saturday, January 14, 2012

Come, Follow Me!

In today's gospel, St. Matthew was sitting at his desk, counting his money, attending to his business, not thinking about God or what might be this new teaching of the man from Nazareth. The business he was in was not one in which a good upright Jew would be involved. It would be called a 'shady' business today. But Jesus did not wait for him to be converted and shape up. The call came to him in the midst of the messiness of his normal way of life. Even today the God of surprises calls young people to follow him even when they are in the midst of ordinary life. Often it does not happen in church or at times of serious reflection but in the usual setting of routine activities.

In his homily today, our Chaplain, Fr. Eugene mentioned that ordinarily God does not call a person without first preparing him or her at least in a remote way by gifts of nature and grace. Matthew probably had heard of Jesus and may even have listened to him teach. He must have had some strength of character as a tax collector to endure patiently the derision and disdain of the "good" Jews. This same quality would prepare him for the contempt and scorn sometimes heaped on the apostolic band when they preached the message of Jesus in the hearing of the Pharisees.

In this generation those called by God may not realize at first that they have already been gifted by the God of surprises, with natural and supernatural qualities which fit them for religious life. They might look at their natural talents, abilities and preferences to indicate a path to the consecrated life. Let each one of us reflect on our own life story and notice where God has been leading us.

Is God calling you?

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