The joy of Lent

40 Shades of Lent, Saturday after Ash Wednesday, 29 February 2020

Isaiah 58:9-14 +++ 0 +++ Luke 5:27-32

“The Calling of St. Matthew” by Caravaggio. From Google.

Dearest Jesus: I have been imagining in prayer of myself being Levi the tax collector sitting at his post.

It must be so lonely being like him, rich but deep inside longing for something deeper and meaningful than money and wealth.  He had been thinking of making a “lifestyle shift” but he felt hopeless with nobody to help him.

Like in the first reading, your invitation Lord through the Prophet Isaiah seem to be too good to be true that anyone like Levi – or me – could make a big difference in life by “giving food to someone hungrier, abandoning my own comfort to care for someone afflicted, substituting a kind word for a malicious gossip, and worshipping you than pursuing my own interests” (Is.58:10,13).

I felt like Levi – there in his little customs post – that is impossible because everything is hopeless and there is no chance to change.  Everything is doomed, especially for me, a sinner, Lord.

Then, suddenly you came, saying, “Follow me” (Lk.5:27).

How I love looking back, Lord, to those dark days when you suddenly came calling me to follow you!

It was so simple. 

Like Levi, I just stood and followed you and everything changed in my life! 

That was so nice of you, Lord Jesus, to take such a bold step of coming to Levi’s post to call him and, me.  It was – and still is – a gamble on your part to call us sinners to follow you. And since then, you have never stopped calling us sinners Lord Jesus to follow you, even on our darkest and lowest days and hours, Lord, when everything seemed to be so doomed.

As we prepare for the first Sunday of Lent, remind me, O Lord, that this holy season is not all that drab and dry.  After all, Lent originally means “springtime”, the coming joy of Easter which happens every time we turn our hearts to you like Levi.  Amen.

From Google.

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