Daily Reflection for Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!
Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
We encourage you to read Tuesday’s scriptures at the following link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the references are:
Reading 1: Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Responsorial: Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5
Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
He said to him, “Follow me.” Matthew 9:9
Today’s gospel tells the story of Jesus’ call to Matthew. Before he became Jesus’ disciple, Matthew was a tax collector, one of the most despised rungs of Jewish society in Jesus’ day. As happened so often, the Pharisees expressed their amazement that Jesus sought out tax collectors and sinners. Jesus calls their attention to God’s words spoken through the prophet Hosea: I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
The call of Saint Matthew raises the question of what it means to follow Jesus. At Jesus’ invitation, Matthew abandoned his tax collecting post. Unlike the Galilean fishermen who could always return to their fishing life, Matthew severs all his life’s connections to follow Jesus. Is that what it takes to be a disciple?
The late philosopher and teacher, Dallas Willard doesn’t see it that way. In his view, a disciple of Jesus isn’t necessarily trying to replicate the life of Jesus. Jesus’ life, after all, was His own magnificent, redeeming work which none of us could ever hope to replicate.
But Jesus’ teachings presuppose that each of us has our own life to live, God’s precious gift to us. So, Willard frames the discipleship question this way: how would Jesus live my whole life if He were I?
- What choices would Jesus make about my calendar and my checkbook?
- How would Jesus respond to the requests that come my way?
- How would He relate to my family, my co-workers, to the people who drift into my life?
- How would He see opportunities for the Kingdom of God to break into the everyday events of my life?
- How would Jesus pray if He were living my life?
These questions invite me into rich imagining, and that imagining is not a mere flight of fantasy. If it’s true that Jesus lives in me, and it is, then Jesus’ spirit can enter the world through me each day through my words, actions, choices, and prayers.
Let yourself imagine how Jesus would live your life today? Where do you hear, “Follow me?”
Wishing you God’s blessings,