During the call of Levi – who leaves his post and follows Jesus – we hear the encouraging words of the Lord, who “did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” May we recognize our need for ongoing conversion as we turn away from sin and follow Christ.
Tag Archives: Call
Jesus calls the Twelve disciples by name and empowers them for ministry. The Lord does the same for us! May we say yes and allow God’s grace to work through our imperfections so that we may serve others with the love of Christ.
The call and response of St. Matthew in the Gospel today offers us a pattern of discipleship. As we draw near to Christ may we bring as many people with us as we can!
The Calling of St. Matthew, Caravaggio, 1600, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.
Study: Consider a time when you were invited to take on an opportunity. What helped you accept it? What caused you to resist?
Pray: Ask the Lord to guide your life. Surrender your heart to Jesus Christ and make him the Lord of your life.
Serve: Is there someone in need of your guidance? Perhaps as a coach, mentor, teacher, or friend? How can you help them?
Here’s a quick overview of the readings this week:
- 1st – The prophet Isaiah describes a servant of the Lord
- Psalm – “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”
- 2nd – Paul addresses the church of Corinth
- Gospel – John the Baptist testifies to Jesus
In all of these readings we see the pattern emerge about serving the Lord. Isaiah describes it; the Psalmist proclaims it; Paul refers to it; John the Baptist shows it.
Throughout salvation history God has called men and women to offer their lives in a variety of different ways. Perhaps in a holy way of life or through heroic sacrifice; or maybe through service, works of charity, or prayerful stillness.
It’s crucial to note, however, that the Lord continues to call disciples today. Our lives – redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ – are precious, holy, and sacred. We have been given the gift to choose how we will live, and thus become a gift to the world.
Every day we reaffirm the gift of our lives. Perhaps you are searching for the Lord’s call in your life today…take time to discern how you can offer your life. Perhaps you have chosen your vocation…then live it with passion! And while we can’t change the past, we can learn from it, and apply the insights into making the present moment a blessed offering to God.
Matthew heard the call of Christ and responded by bringing lots of imperfect people to the Lord. We, too, can take comfort that the Lord welcomes our response – not because we’re perfect, but because the Lord longs to heal and renew our lives.
The fishing began poorly, but the preaching was bold and the nets were filled. The Lord called to the disciples, and the response – beyond all doubt and fear – led to the greatest catch all.
The apostles – with all their failures and shortcomings – were known by God…and still called to follow Christ. We, too, can draw near to Jesus, not because we are perfect, but because the Lord knows us and invites us to receive his grace.
God’s invitation rings out loud and clear – in good and bad times – to remind us to draw near to the Lord and one another.
To respond to a call is one thing, to come prepared with one’s best effort is another. As we follow the Lord’s call we renew our hearts to give God our very best.
Study: Consider a time when you were personally invited to participate in an event. How did it feel? How did you respond?
Pray: Is there a difficult situation or decision confronting you right now? Ask the Lord for guidance and wisdom.
Serve: Are there people in your life who are struggling to respond to a circumstance in life? How can you help them?
Here are some key points that surface in the readings this week:
- 1st Reading – The Lord comes “to gather nations of every language.”
- Psalm – “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.”
- 2nd Reading – Consider difficulties and trials as “discipline” in the faith.
- Gospel – People will come from east/west, north/south to recline in the Kingdom of God.
A crucial theme emerges from the first reading, psalm and Gospel around the global call to all nations to draw near to the kingdom of God. Language, race, color, and creed are not obstacles but rather variations of the diversity of God’s creation. Simply put, all people are called to draw near to the Lord. The invitation is open to everyone.
Of course, not everyone will listen and respond. Some will reject the message, others will get caught up in distractions, while still others will pursue things that are contrary to a life in Christ. Thus it is crucial to note that while all are invited, each person has the freedom to choose his or her own unique path in life.
The second reading to the Hebrews helps us to see the challenges of life as a form of discipline – where we face obstacles and grow stronger in God’s grace – which helps us grow as disciples. Here the focus is not that life will be easy, but rather that in our trials we draw closer to Jesus Christ and become more completely sons and daughters of God.
How is the Lord calling you today, and what will be your response? Where are the challenges in your life…and how will you respond? We recognize that God’s invitation and daily difficulties come to all of us. Today we reflect on how we respond to the Lord in a faithful, vibrant way.