STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Matthew 9: 9-13
As Jesus passed by,
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.”
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
God created each and every one of us with certain hopes, and certain desires. Deep in your heart is a desire for a specific vocation, a desire to love and be loved, and a desire to have a purpose. Matthew was a tax collector, a thief and a cheater, and yet the Lord says ‘Follow me’ and Matthew stands and walks away from dishonest living. Before the words were spoken, on the surface, Matthew may have thought that he was happy. He was at the top of his field, he was feared by some, and he never had to worry about money. Matthew’s heart, however, knew that he needed more, he knew that there was more. He knew that Jesus was the Most in which he could ever hope. God placed a desire in Matthew’s heart to follow the Lord, long before he gave up his field. This act of leaving his post for the Lord makes sense when we realize that there was nothing that Matthew wanted more than to be who God made him to be.
This is true for all of us. Our hearts were made for following the Lord. Following Him will fulfill you to a level that nothing else could. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” The Lord simply wants you. With Matthew, Jesus didn’t bust in and rebuke Matthew and demand he give the money back and do crazy penance. Jesus desired mercy for Matthew; Jesus longed for Matthew’s heart to be turned to the Father, and for him to know true love. In reality, I’m sure Matthew did make reparation for his sins, but it came out of love and not out of a forced sacrifice.
God created you with and for great love. The depths of your heart long for Him. Do not be afraid. If the Lord asks you to leave a place or habit or relationship for the sake of that love, He will be gentle and patient. He does not ask for painful sacrifice, but for mercy. He asks for you to turn your heart to Him, as slowly as you need to, just don’t stop turning to Him. He will make you happy because that’s how He made you. Your heart with His heart is eternal joy.
The journey to the Father is a gradual one, but when the Lord says ‘follow’, realize that the destination is perfection in heaven.
The heavens cry out for you.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
What does my heart desire most?
Where is the Lord asking me to follow Him?
What would I be afraid to walk away from to follow Jesus?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"I desire mercy, not sacrifice."
"The Father created me for heaven."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Follow Him. Ask the Lord in the little things what He wants you to do. Practice listening for His voice, that His simple words may bring you great joy.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Bobby Blood, seminarian for the Diocese of Rockford.