An elderly man was having a celebration of his 90th birthday.
The man, who lived a life of integrity, was looked up by many, as a good Catholic.
At the birthday celebration, one of the youngsters asked him: “What message would you like to leave to the Christian Youth?”
The elderly person – with some struggle to speak – spoke the following three phrases:
“Look to Jesus!
Listen to Jesus!
Learn of Jesus!”
These three simple phrases are important keys for us to be Faithful Followers of Christ.
The Gospel of the Day – the Call of Mathew to follow Jesus – is a presentation, of Mathew beginning this journey of Faithfully Following Christ, by…
… “Looking to Jesus, Listening to Jesus and Learning of Jesus”
The Gospel today begins with the verse:
“…Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me!” (Mt 9:9)
For the religious elite of the Society, this calling of Matthew, the tax collector was a shocking experience!
>> Tax Collectors were among the most hated people in the Jewish Society.
Tax collectors were generally despised and tainted and stained on three different aspects:
1. Nationally Traitors
A tax collector, “sold himself”, to the foreign Roman government, and was a betrayer of the Nation.
>> One of the top-most nation-betrayers!
2. Morally Corrupt
Each tax collector had the right from the Roman government to gather taxes.
The more he gathered, the more he could keep!
>> One of the top-most dishonest people!
c. Religiously Unclean:
The constant contact of the tax collectors with the Gentiles made them religiously suspect.
>> One of the top-most impure class!
And it is this Matthew, a tax collector…
… that Jesus invites to “Follow Him”!
The Journey of ‘Faithful Following’ had begun for Mathew…
>> He began to ‘look to Jesus, listen to Jesus and learn from Jesus’
Mathew would open himself to the Love of the Lord….
1. He opened His heart:
Matthew became a new person.
Accepting Jesus, meant…
… turning away from his old-ways
… forsaking a good deal of income
… rejecting some of his corrupt business people
2. He Opened His Home:
Matthew was excited to share his new-found Love, with others too.
The transformation in one person, became an opportunity, for many others…
… to experience God’s enterprising love
…. and be challenged to undergo a change!
3. He opened his hands:
Matthew also opened his hands & worked for the Lord.
“It could be said, that when Jesus called Matthew, he left his job to follow Christ, but he took along with him, his pen!”
>> And this would later help him to pen the Gospel…the Gospel according to St Matthew!
The call to be a Christian is not an easy one.
Like Mathew, we too have to…
… constantly seek to listen to the voice of the Lord, in the midst of our “busy schedules”
… have the courage to “leave our tables” and begin to depend on the Lord
… continually “face criticisms and comments” from others, and yet be faithful
As Pope Benedict XVI says:
“If you follow the will of God, in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge…!
>> Go on, trusting, in the One that loves you.”
Yes, we all can find…
… rest in His Heart
… welcome in His Home
… and strength in His Hands!
May we constantly seek to ‘Faithfully Follow Jesus’, by always:
>> “Looking to Jesus…
Listening to Jesus…
and Learning of Jesus”
God Bless! Live Jesus!