Saturday after Ash Wednesday

 A Lenten Renewal:
Daily considerations of the liturgical readings as they apply to our contemporary lives
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
On this Lenten Saturday after Ash Wednesday we meet Levi at Mass, later known as Matthew. He was a member of the Jewish community but he worked as a tax collector for the enemy Rome and was considered a traitor by his people. Jesus came to him at his collection station and called him to be His disciple (Luke 5:27-32). I can imagine that the other disciples were stunned that Jesus would have invited him to join them. It would put their own credibility in question once people saw Tax Collector Matthew among their number. Didn’t Jesus KNOW that?
God’s ways are not our own.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a man by his job. Jesus saw something in Levi that no one else could see: potential. And Jesus’ love for him was enough to bring about a transformation. Hasn’t that happened to you and to me? How many people know that we are trying to make this a Lent like no other? 
People know more about our faults than they do about the Grace of God at work in us. So be it. Just let me learn that if there’s hope for me, there’s hope for everyone else out there. Even the least likely to be called to holiness are, well, called to holiness. Everyday holiness. Love of God, love of neighbor, fidelity to our vocation, new eyes to see, a new spirit within us. Let’s not live our lives in reverse by looking at ourselves according to our past. It’s now that counts. Grace works in this present moment, and it’s now that we are loved by God, warts and all.
St. Matthew, writer of the First Gospel, help me to trust the work of God in me, and in every person I meet. 
I ask no more than this today. Amen.
“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

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