Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students
September 21st, 2012
Bio | Email: DamianOlsen@creighton.edu
Today is the memorial of St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist. He was a tax collector and sinner but somehow Jesus saw something in him and knew he was meant for a higher calling. The surprising part about this story is not Jesus calling St. Matthew to become a follower, it is the response that he gives to him. Jesus is calling each of us in this same way every day. The amazing thing about our journey of faith is that there is no limit on the growth we may achieve. We are called to never remain stagnant in our faith, to always keep climbing toward our ultimate goal of unity with God in heaven. Because of this we can apply the calling of St. Matthew over and over to our faith life. I am sure if you are reading this, you are seeking the will of God and trying to live as he calls us to. But still Christ is calling to us each moment to enter into deeper unity with him. The world often calls us in the opposite direction and we are torn trying to decide which voice to answer. It is repeatedly choosing Christ in things small and great that will ultimately align our will with the will of God and allow us to have a pure and natural devotion to him. We may not have this moment of radical conversion as St. Matthew did (for many of us, that has happened in our past), but each ‘yes’ we give to Christ points the needle on our compass a little more towards heaven.
I once heard a deacon speak very eloquently on this passage and it really resonated in me. He used the example of a visit to the hospital for some illness or injury. If you walked into the emergency department and told the doctor simply ‘I am in pain’, he’s not going to be able to help you much. He would then proceed to ask you about the pain - where is it located, how long has it been going on, etc... In order to help you and fix your pain, he needs the nitty gritty details. The deacon was telling this story in reference to confession, saying that the more detail we give the priest the more directly God is going to be able to heal us properly. It may be painful to say it at the time, but in the long run we will walk out of that confessional cleansed so directly by God’s grace right in the place we need it most. We will receive the mercy of Christ in a more full way than we thought possible. The same applies to the emergency room. We may not want to tell the doctor exactly what’s going on for fear that he will press on what is sore and cause us more pain in that moment, but he will ultimately be able to treat us better if we give him as much detail as possible. Jesus finishes off this statement by telling us what he expects of us, what he is calling us to. He desires mercy from us, not sacrifice. And while he made the ultimate sacrifice of himself, it was an offering that we might receive the mercy of God. This is the mercy directly from God available to us through the sacrament of reconciliation.
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