17 February, 2018: Jesus Calls You

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Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Reading: Is.58. 9b-14 ; Gospel: Lk.5.27-32.
In the Gospel today, we come across a very strange event. Jesus calls a tax collector named ‘Levi’ to follow Him.
Why is it a strange event? Because the Jews despised and shunned tax collectors. In fact tax collectors were considered to be at the lowest rung of sinners in the Jewish society. Due to their allegiance and collaboration with the Romans, they were socially rejected, politically considered traitors, and religiously termed apostates. Though being a Jew, Jesus consciously breaks myriad barriers and calls Levi to follow Him to the surprise of the Pharisees, scribes and other. No Jew, even in his wildest dreams, would ever think that a tax collector would receive such a call. Yet Jesus called Levi while he was still sitting at the tax booth.
My friend, wherever you may be today, Jesus is also calling you. You may never believe it or understand it, but Jesus is calling out to you to follow Him. From your booth of difficulties, sinful habits, stressful situations, etc. the Lord is calling out to you. It is enough that you recognize your sinfulness. That alone is the requirement. For He said: “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Mt 5:32).
In my own personal life, it was precisely at the moment when I thought I have waded too far into sinful waters, when I was certain that I have walked far from God – that I have realized His presence so close to me. That is His style. Right from the beginning of time, He has been coming after us sinners and calling us to repentance. He is doing the same to you today.
Will you heed His voice and decide to follow Him this Lent and for the rest of your life?

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