SATURDAY, SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
Memorial of Blessed Rani Maria, Virgin and Martyr
Is 58: 9-14; Ps 86: 1-6; Lk 5: 27-32
YOUR LIGHT WILL RISE IN THE DARKNESS
“Your light will rise in the darkness…” prophesies Isaiah to those who choose to follow the word of the Lord. From this perspective, let us reflect on the gospel. We have the conversion moment of Levi, the tax collector. “Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And leaving everything he got up and followed him.” It might seem from Luke’s narration that Levi’s response was immediate and spontaneous, almost like a slave obeying the command of his master. However, there is much that is happening between the lines. Levi, a tax collector – and hence a public sinner whom ‘the righteous’ must avoid – is at the table of his ‘sin’. He sees the holy preacher passing by, a man he greatly admires for being everything he is not, and then, unexpectedly, he hears Jesus calling out to him. He was being offered a chance at redemption.
Pause for a moment to imagine the turmoil within, the turmoil that every person at the crossroads of a conversion choice experiences. “Am I ready for a conversion? Will I regret stepping out of my comfort zone, leaving everything that makes me feel secure? Is this desire in me true or just fleeting? Will I be able to sustain my enthusiasm, or become a failure and an object of ridicule?” Levi cast aside the fear and hesitation, and chose to let the light of Christ enter, which transformed him into a light that drew his ‘companions in the darkness’ to an encounter with the Light of the world!
For our Lord, neither the questions nor the fear and hesitation within matter; it is the choice we end up making that he seeks – for him or against, to listen to him or ignore, to welcome him or reject. The more often the latter choice is made, the more difficult will it be to even see the light. The Pharisees and their scribes, who could neither see the good that Jesus did nor the grace of conversion granted to Levi, stand out as those who constantly chose not to rise from the darkness.
Response: Teach me, O Lord, your way, so that I may walk in your truth.
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