Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Reflection #5: Thursday

Saint Matthew, Apostle
21 September 2006

Matthew 9: 9-13

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Apostle and Evangelist, Saint Matthew. He was a disciple of Jesus and the author of one of the four Gospels. Today’s reading is from Saint Matthew’s Gospel, and tells the story of Matthew’s call to serve Jesus in his own words. It is a rather simple vocation story. Matthew is sitting at his post, fulfilling his duty as a tax collector. Jesus simply says to him, “follow me.” And, as Matthew writes, he gets up and follows Him. Notice there is no hesitation. If there was any question in Matthew’s mind about the man calling him or what he was getting into, he certainly does not tell us about it. There is no argument. Matthew abandons his life as a tax collector for a new way of life with Jesus. He had no idea what might lie ahead. He does not second-guess the Lord but trusts that what lies before him will by God’s grace prove to be best for him.
Today, we too are called to reflect on how the Lord is calling us to make a change in our lives. Every human person has a unique vocation, a unique plan from God to live in a particular way: to marry a particular person, to become a priest and serve a particular parish, to become a religious sister or brother and live in a particular community. The life God calls us to is not always easy, yet He fills our lives with the grace to strengthen us as we fulfill what He asks of us. The challenge is to trust in God’s plan.
This is the example of Saint Matthew we are called to follow. This is what we are asked to pray about today. We need to pray for the grace and the strength to trust that what God has in store for us is best for us. We need to pray for the grace to follow the call of the Lord without hesitation, and not follow our own desires. A dear friend of mine, who lives this very well, reminds me in my impatience to trust in the will of the Lord. “If it’s meant to be, it will happen,” she says. Matthew didn’t know where Jesus would lead Him but he was moved by grace to trust and to submit to the will of the Lord.
Today, and every day, let us turn to the Lord in prayer and ask: “Lord, what is it you want me to do?” “How am I to follow you?” Place your cares in the hand of God, trust in His plan, and respond to His call without turning back. When the Lord says “follow me,” He says it knowing what is best for us. May we have the courage of Saint Matthew to get up and follow after the Lord every moment of our lives, and to trust that where He leads us is nowhere other than the throne of glory in His heavenly kingdom.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Happy feast day to you!

The Laubachers