Have you ever noticed how many passages in the scriptures begin: Jesus said to… or God spoke to (so and so) saying…?
Both readings in today’s liturgy open in this way: the Isaiah reading: “The Lord says…”, and the well-known call of Levi (Matthew): “Jesus noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting by the customs house, and said to him, ‘Follow me.'”
It’s easy for us to make the mistake of hearing these accounts only as historical encounters forgetting that the word of God is a living and contemporary voice.
Jesus is THE Word who not only communicated to people in the past (as recorded in the Bible) but who is actively communicating with those who listen today.
When we do make this connection with the present, we probably presume that this divine communication happens not with me but for other people who are more ready, more open, more obedient and more holy than me.
That’s a big mistake.
And this is the encouraging thing about the biblical accounts of God’s interactions with humans. They teach us that God has an overwhelming preference for breaking into the routine days of ordinary people who (before the encounter) prefer to lurk in life’s shadows.
This is certainly the case with Matthew the tax collector found by Jesus in a back-room bar wheeling and dealing on behalf of the Roman oppressors.
We know that Matthew’s life changed dramatically at this moment of meeting with Jesus. The gospel records that Matthew immediately left everything and followed Jesus.
And this is probably the problem for us.
Perhaps we would rather not hear the voice of Jesus because we fear that the consequences will be life-changing for us as it was for all those previously ordinary people across history who did recognise the voice of Jesus, direct and personal for them.
We have become cautious and lethargic, spending our days as a comfortable existence rather than embracing the adventure of abundant life which Jesus is actively communicating to us.
Today I invite you to join me, together embracing the adventure of faith asking:
Jesus speak directly to me today.
Speak clearly so I can hear,
And when you speak,
enable me to hear.
And when I hear,
leave me with no doubt
that it is you my God
who is speaking to me.
And let me know too
that if I follow you today
my life will be
not only here and now
Jesus, speak to me today.
Take a moment to share a comment on your experience of today’s reflection (below) a prayer intention, or to let someone else know you are praying for them, or to initiate a cafe or bar gathering:
- Prayer Requests – an opportunity to list your own requests for prayer and to let others know that you are praying for them and their intentions
- Event Calendar – where you can suggest a time and place for a cafe or bar gathering inviting others to join you.
Is Jesus speaking to us through the pandemic? Can we work with the changes it is resulting in? Holy Spirit, please fill us with the energy we need right now.
Absolutely love your description of Matthew – “Matthew the tax collector found by Jesus in a back-room bar wheeling and dealing on behalf of the Roman oppressors”.
I’ve been assisting a friend with his 2021 tax return, it’s been fairly challenging but in the midst of the turmoil I hear Jesus calling . I’m no tax guru and the situation is complex, including some broken relationships, and definitely out of my comfort zone but finding grace at every turn