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Sunday, June 08, 2008

"Follow Me"

Gospel
Mt 9:9-13
As Jesus passed on from there,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”


This gospel today is so meaningful on so many levels. Every. Single. One. of us is called to follow Jesus, and He knows us all intimately, personally, even more deeply than we know ourselves. And still He calls us.

Some of you may remember the post I wrote just over one year ago, in which one of the priests at my parish asked me if I'd considered becoming a religious sister. At that time I told him that I had, I didn't think I was called, and admitted to him that I really felt very lost. (He's the one who brought that up...I just agreed!). I was actually very touched by his encouragement and the fact that he'd even asked me that question, and admittedly, being that it was coming from him, I did think about it some more.

Today, that same priest gave a wonderful homily on today's readings and the gospel, and in so doing, also told his Vocation story. He's had an amazing and tragic life, and yet one so joyful and filled with God's presence and guidance throughout. I hadn't heard his story prior to today and was myself thrilled to finally hear it. But somewhere in the middle, I realized that this priest is the only one at my parish who doesn't know about the door I've cracked open again. And he's the one maybe with the most right to know about it!

I usually pray for awhile after Mass, so it was that by the time I left, Father was greeting the last few stragglers, so I had an opportunity to talk to him for a bit. I asked him if he remembered our conversation, and immediately he did, and his eyes just lit right up. He remembered his invitation to me, and he remembered my response. So today he got the update, and when I told him, he looked so joyful I thought he was going to burst! I also told him about the Lay Dominican chapter we are working on, and that I don't know where either of these things is going. At all. He just said that God would guide me, and he's right.

Truth be told, I'm back to thinking I do NOT have a religious vocation as the pull seems a lot stronger to work on the Lay Dominican route, yet I do still intend to visit the Sisters this summer, for an overnight or a weekend, as my schedule allows.

I don't know where any of this is going, or why. But I do know that today, during Mass, (and even BEFORE Mass), I knew that Our Lord is calling me to follow Him, to sainthood, even by way of martyrdom should it come to that. I realized that I have all the tools necessary to become a Saint! We are given SO MUCH, so many paths to holiness! I considered all the wonderful and holy people in my life and throughout the Church, I sensed the unity with friends and strangers all over the globe, attending different Masses in different places, and I considered the Communion of Saints, there as we knelt beneath the Cross, together.

Today, I realized that it is within my grasp to truly become a Saint, and all I have to do is cooperate with God. Our Vocations are really just pathways to holiness, and they are the paths specifically and personally chosen by God Himself, for us, individually. We may not know the next waystation on the path, but if we keep placing one foot in front of the other, and are willing to abandon ourselves into Jesus' hands, we will never be lost.

*

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

God will definitely lead you toward His path. Remember - you can fleece God to confirm His will...similar to what Gideon did (Judges 6). This was also the case with Abraham's Senior Servant who went to Nahor to find a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24).

We do this to confirm that we are doing God's will. It's amazing and comforting to know that God is always listening...but I have to remember that 'I' need to listen also. LM

paramedicgirl said...

That is a very good post, Adoro. Words worth thinking about.

Melody said...

"...if we keep placing one foot in front of the other, and are willing to abandon ourselves into Jesus' hands, we will never be lost." A very good thought, if I can just keep it in mind!

Anonymous said...

I did some LEctio on this on Sat. with a priest & came up with a thought that might be good for you, too: sacrifice is something to plan. Buy a sheep on market day, go to the right part of the temple to see the designated people--make an appointment and be in control. But mercy is an interruption! Matthew is working when Jesus passes by and calls him; Matthew keeps having to get up from his table full of guests to admit/greet all the additional guests who keep arriving. Jesus' dinner/teaching gets interrupted so he has to correct knuckleheads. In the whole story, mercy interrupts everybody, every activity, every plan!

Anonymous said...

New Irish Latin Mass Blog

http://www.catholicheritage.blogspot.com/

A new blog for an ancient Liturgy. The first few posts are self-explanatory. St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association has been working for the provision of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin since 1995. We’d be very glad if you could (a) post about the new blog and (b) link to it.

In particular, we’d be glad if you could bring to the attention of your readers the news that there will be a Walking Pilgrimage for Vocations on Saturday, 12th July, 2008, commencing at 11 a.m. in St. Brigid’s Church, Milltown, County Kildare, Ireland, with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Missal of Blessed John XXIII) for which the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin has granted, under the usual conditions, the Plenary Indulgence for the Pauline Holy Year.

God bless you!

St. Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association

Adoro te Devote said...

LM ~ I know that God is always listening...I'm the idiot who needs to listen to HIM! And He never tires of me...that's love.

Paramedicgirl ~ thanks. How y'been? I need to pay you a visit to your blog.

Melody ~ yeah, keeping it in mind...I need to do that. When I write these posts, I'm speaking to myself because I'm not making muster. And that's the hard part, isn't it?

Anon ~ I don't think sacrifice can be planned, by its very nature. Sacrifice REQUIRES that we give something up, even if it means the present moment. We can't plan out sacrifice, but we can plan to be open to it. In the examples you cited, NONE of them planned sacrifice...they were only opened, somehow, and able to walk away, or at least respond to the needs of the present moment. It was pure abandonment to God's will. Both mercy AND sacrifice belong only to the present moment...and that's where we find holiness.

I'm horrible at that. :-(

Irish Anon ~ Awesome! I'm not sure it'll be helpful to most of my readers, but one never knows, and as a descendant of the Irish myself, I'm thrilled to help along the holiness of my mothercountry! :-)

Mark said...

You know that if you aim at the horizon, the round you fire will plow into the earth not that far away; but if you aim up into the air at the right angle, the round will go as far as it is physically possible for it to go. Aim high, as Christ said, set your sights on heaven; and you will be given heaven and the earth beside.

You may set your sights on a religious vocation, which can still be acheived if you go through the intermediate step of a Third Order. There are many paths to sanctity...

Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922), himself a Dominican Tertiary, said; "Among the means of holiness most useful and opportune for the defense and progress of Christian faith and morals in our day, we recognize the Dominican Third Order as one of the most eminent, easy and secure."