16th January 2021,
SATURDAY, FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Memorial of St Joseph Vaz, Priest
Heb 4:12-16 or 1Cor 1:18-25
O CHRISTIAN, ARE YOU A DISCIPLE YET?
Jesus has chosen us to be his disciples. However, to follow him depends on each person. In the gospel of today we hear about the call of Levi. Jesus only says the words, “Follow me”; hearing them, Levi leaves behind everything and follows him. A radical change takes place in the life of Levi; he saw in the one who called him someone who would lead him to a fulfillment greater than wealth and prestige could ever provide, and he makes a choice to follow him.
Being Christian means being a follower of Christ. However, for many Christians born into a Christian household, the question arises: Has the following of Christ become a choice yet? Or is it just a fulfillment of religious obligations, prayers and other spiritual activities, only acts of habit, routine or tradition?
To be a true follower of Jesus, a true Christian, one needs to walk in the path Jesus walked, the path of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, love. All these come from the heart, i.e. from a conscious choice to be like the Master. It means choosing to go beyond human goodness to a life of holiness, a life founded on the love of Christ – “Love one another as I have loved you.” It means making the choice of Levi, the choice to be a disciple.
Levi wasn’t just inspired by the life of Christ; if so, he would have continued in the tax booth, at the most making a decision to be more honest. But that was not what was asked of him. Discipleship is more than just being inspired by the life of Christ; it is being obedient to the call of Christ, no matter the sacrifice. To follow the Lord, is to be ready to carry the cross of sacrifice, not only of the things that are unhealthy, but also of those things that, though good, weigh us down in our journey of discipleship. On this choice shall our salvation depend.
Responsorial Psalm: Your words, O Lord, are spirit and life.
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