Would you choose to go to a doctor that you were friends with in High School? Or you had as a student if you were a teacher? Sometimes we question the abilities of people we know too well. I remember when one of my students joined the police force and I thought about all the trouble he caused! I know a priest whose friends couldn’t believe he was “holy” enough. Well, today we read about the call of Levi, Matthew, the tax collector. Although Levi immediately answered the call to follow Jesus, there were a lot of raised eyebrows! Does Jesus know who he’s eating with? Doesn’t he know these people are sinners? Have you ever caught yourself judging the worthiness of others? I know I sometimes fail in that. But Jesus answers them by stating that he came to call sinners. Do we think that the churches should be filled with saints? Is that what we think we are? Lots of questions in this reflection but sometimes we need a wake-up call and the beginning of the year is always a good time to do this. Jesus tells us not to judge but we can’t seem to help ourselves. There is a Native American saying that tells us not to judge anyone until we have walked a mile in his moccasins. It’s a new year, and I’m trying for a new attitude.
Sometimes it is much easier to love someone than to allow someone to love us. Having someone love us often puts us at a disadvantage. We must then allow that person do something for us. We become dependent on that person. We are in some way “beholden” to that person. It is a prideful position to be in. Allowing ourselves to be loved means believing that we deserve to be loved. It is essential that we learn to allow God to love us. So many people miss that crucial point. They don’t believe they are deserving of God’s love, or of His mercy. They believe they must somehow “earn” His love. It is difficult for them to accept His gift of grace. It is faith alone that allows us to believe that, even if we are undeserving, God loves us anyway. When we can accept this undeserved gift of love, then we can truly learn how to love.
Father, I don’t know how you could love or show me the mercy that You have shown me. I never did anything deserving Your love, but You gave it to me anyway. I know that I can never repay You for the kindness You have shown me, but the miracle of it all, is that I don’t have to. Thank you for Your gift of love. Help me never take it lightly and help me share that love with everyone around me, in Jesus name I pray in Jesus name Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen.