14 January 2006

The Response of Levi

So often we hear today's Gospel referred to as "The Call of Levi" (or "Matthew"). Indeed, the Gospel is about a very counter-cultural move on Jesus' part: the invitation for a public sinner to join his band of followers. What is equally striking, however, is Levi's response. The author of Mark's Gospel does have a flair for brevity, but the description is stunning nonetheless: Levi got up and followed Jesus. Some of us, perhaps, might have been tempted to have a conversation about the matter before we got up to follow Jesus: "Sure, I'd be happy to follow you, but where are we going? . . . how long is this going to take? Should I take some money with me?" How often do we, in our own lives, play out some of these conversations when we are invited to something new? Perhaps it is a new project, a new job, a new assignment; perhaps it is not something physical but something "spiritually new" to which the Lord is inviting us -- a new way of praying, a new way of looking at someone or something, etc. Let us follow the example of Levi and follow the Lord's invitation unhesitatingly, trusting that he will provide all that we need to be His faithful followers.

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