In his homily in Holguin, Cuba on Monday Pope Francis made note of the Feast of St. Matthew, celebrated by the Catholic Church that day. He spoke of the call of St. Matthew, that lowlife tax collector, whom Jesus approached and simply said, “Follow me.” St. Matthew dropped what he was doing. Just like that.
Our Holy Father however spoke of Jesus calling someone from the most reviled social class of his day – the publican, or tax collector. The power of Jesus turned Matthew’s heart, so that he could indeed get up and follow him.
We are all invited to stop what we are doing at pretty much any time and follow Jesus. It does not need to be as dramatic as St. Matthew’s call.
Do you ever feel like you need to clean up your act and get it together before you can really commit to God? After all, would God want us in the state that we are? We are not good enough, we are not perfect, we are not holy enough, we are not not not not… The list goes on and on, but the answer is clear – Jesus wants us. He knows who he is calling, waiting for our response.
So how do we say yes if we feel like some big mess? While we are all called to change, that is the heart of conversion and transformation in Christ, it does not have happen in an instant – most likely because it can’t happen in an instant. No – Jesus invites us all to follow him. We just need to say yes and let God take it from there. Oh yes – our cooperation will be required, but the first thing is to say yes and follow.
This reminds me of the Examen prayer that was on the blog on Sunday, and that Pope Francis no doubt says every night. If we can take even a few moments in each day, to connect with God and remember how and where Jesus called to us, we might be able to get to yes without shame or delay.
Today, may we also pray for one another to take that time, to listen, to respond, to follow. The invitation is there, it’s time for our RSVP and to attend the gathering of the Body of Christ.
Are you ready? Let us go!
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