Calling of Matthew
Hendrick Terbrugghen, c. 1616
May 30, 2011Dear Family of Mary!"Dear children! My prayer today is for all of you who seek the grace of conversion. You knock on the door of my heart, but without hope and prayer, in sin, and without the Sacrament of Reconciliation with God. Leave sin and decide, little children, for holiness. Only in this way can I help you, hear your prayers and seek intercession before the Most High. Thank you for having responded to my call." (May 25, 2011)
"As the story in Genesis of creation and the fall makes clear, sin is a rejection of life as God's child bringing enslavement with it. Through pride, human beings refuse to accept life and happiness from the Father's hands, with confident and loving dependency, preferring to be the source of life for themselves. Suspicions, fears, worries, and inflamed desires are the result. Looking for happiness not to God, but to ourselves, we feverishly seek it in things like riches, pleasure, and fame. Our state of being called points to a path of liberation from some of the most fundamental expressions of sin: pride, fear, and desire. "Openness to God's calls frees us from pride. It sweeps aside the attitude of self-sufficiency, the pretense that one is the sole master of one's life. In its place come dependency, availability to another, humility, and confident submission. Openness to God's calls helps us to escape the pitfalls of desire. God redirects desire toward goods better able to satisfy us than those we lust after. And this openness frees us from fear. By being open to God's calls, the believer receives encouragement and strength that empower him to rise above his fears and break out of the narrow circle of inadequate coping strategies by which people too often attempt to handle fear. "When the Pharisees in the Gospels are scandalized at seeing Jesus eat with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus replies: I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners (Lk 5:32). Here is the infinite mercy of God, who calls us not because of our merits but purely out of love. He does not want us to remain prisoners of our past. He always wants to propose a new future to us, however hesitant we may be. The best way to leave sin and misery behind is not by despairing or blaming ourselves, but by opening up to God's calls that come to us continually, no matter what our situation is. Even the most hardened sinner is called. And the call is a path of salvation for him." (Jacques Philippe. Called to Life. New York: Scepter Publishing, Inc. 2008. P. 11-13) I purposefully italicized the word call in this excerpt because it is so important. To be called is to be fully human. God calls us forth, in creating us, in bringing us into the Christian faith, in giving us the unique gifts that we each have, and in following Him throughout our lives. Those calls create us into holy people if we hear them and follow them. They are our ticket out of our own fabricated realities into the life of God. Wow!!! Hearing God's call opens us up to a new way of being, a new way of loving. It is as if Jesus comes with His Holy Spirit flash light into our darkness and leads us out of our sin and selfishness, one little step at a time, from right where we are, like Matthew the tax collector. He just says, "Follow me." Why not! We are free to choose life, to choose love. It is a matter of answering the CALL!!
In Jesus and Mary!
©Mary TV 2011