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Kerry WeberJanuary 13, 2023
Photo from Unsplash.

A Reflection for Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Find today’s readings here.

Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed Jesus. (Mk 2:14)

As a parent of young children, I am not accustomed to my requests being obeyed on the first attempt. Put on your shoes is met with benign silence as my 4-year-old remains engrossed in her coloring. Get in the car is met with requests by my 6-year-old to run up stairs to get “one more thing.” Eat your supper, I say to my 2-year-old. Instead, she does a silly dance.

And so I am always struck by the ease of the exchange between Levi and Jesus in this Gospel.

Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”

And he got up and followed Jesus.

Our world is not perfect, and inevitably we will fail to follow Christ as we should. Thankfully, his call is not a one-time deal.

There is no hemming or hawing. Levi simply does what Jesus asks. And it seems a sign of the sincerity of the response that, when Jesus calls him with words, Levi’s response is an action. He doesn’t say, “Sure, I’ll meet you later.” He doesn’t say, “O.K.,” and stay where he is. Levi does not make excuses (or do a silly dance). He simply gets up.

In our daily lives, it’s easy to say we follow Jesus. But the more difficult work comes in the getting up and in the going about doing good. On the other hand, we also sometimes find ourselves like the scribes, who seem to follow Jesus around just to catch him in some sort of trouble. Their hearts remain hard, though they are physically close to Jesus.

In an ideal world, we are close to Christ in word and in deed, in our actions and our thoughts. We find him in the Eucharist and in our neighbor. In our prayer and our acts of service. But our world is not perfect, and inevitably we will fail to follow Christ as we should. But, thankfully, his call is not a one-time deal. It’s an open invitation, no matter our sins or accomplishments. Christ calls to us again and again. We will fail to respond as we should; we will fall. But with a reliance on God’s grace, eventually, we get up.

More: Scripture

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