Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house. – Lk. 5:27-28
Levi, who is also traditionally known as the one of the four evangelist Matthew, is an ordinary figure in this passage who does two extraordinary things. As a tax collector he is looked upon in his community as an outcast, a sinner. He is not particularly special in his station in life. And yet, Jesus calls him to discipleship. Levi’s first reaction is swift and shows a tremendous amount of trust as he leaves everything to follow Jesus. He does not even question his worthiness as some of us may do. How many of us are able to follow through even a simple request without at least analyzing it a little? But Levi does not stop there. He goes on to throw a feast for Jesus in his house. He receives his calling as a gift and expresses his gratitude with a grand gesture.
It was a while after college when I accepted my discipleship, my calling to be a follower of Christ. Like others, I sometimes felt a certain unworthiness. “Why Lord would you call me, a confused person who often times is willfully disobedient and selfish?” At other times, I may feel the extra burden and responsibility of living in a manner that I perceived as acceptable to God. “There’s no way I can live up to that standard.” And yet, I am called as I am. We are all called exactly as we are. Levi is a wonderful model for us. He does not doubt nor makes excuses. Perhaps before wondering about how we are to follow Christ, we may reflect on the gift of this invitation to discipleship.
How may we express our gratitude to be a disciple of Christ this Lenten season?
Reflected by Michael Jamnongjit
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