The amazing summer season is now slowly fading into the distance and the glorious pumpkin spice season, I mean fall, is starting to creep into existence. People are replacing the geraniums with placing fresh mums and pumpkins by their front door. The cider mills have begun making fresh apple cider and baking doughnuts to go along with them! And who cannot forget that above all America’s second pastime, football has begun, Go Irish! Yet, as the excitement of seasons change with all its great fixtures that come with the change, we too should look into our own soul to see how we have changed or have not changed.
As fall grows into existence, we too can fall into Christ to become bright and beautiful shining beacons of hope for the world or at least Tawas Area! Think about this weeks great apostle, St Matthew. Known in the Gospel of Matthew as Matthew but in Mark and Luke is called Levi. He is of the House of Israel yet was considered and outcast because he was a tax collector, and more so, worked for the Roman Government/Occupation. Here you have man who has literally worked with a group of people who were over taxing the people all for the glory of lining their own pockets. Totally fits this past Sunday’s readings of being overly ambitious like St James wrote about (James 3:16—4:3) yet leaving others behind for their own self glory. In the collect prayer (the opening prayer) from Sunday’s Mass we asked God to help us love Him more and to love our neighbor as ourself, and all we need to do is be childlike in his midst. Which can be easier said than done!
However, once we have an encounter with the Lord, with Jesus, it is hard to ignore. Here you have Matthew sitting at his tax collectors desk and Christ walks by looks at him and says, “Follow me!” What happens next is simply incredible, “and he rose and followed him.” An encounter with Christ took place and Matthew couldn’t unsee it. Did he have questions in the back of his mind about what he was doing, probably, was he afraid of what people might think, for sure, did it stop him from following the Divine, not at all. Ask any priest when they entered seminary, I know both of those went through my head both before and even as a priest. Yet, Saint Matthew has an encounter and he cannot unsee Christ and he follows him leaving behind a pile of silver coins. Matthew follows Jesus for the rest of his public ministry and after the ascension of Christ he not only writes the Gospel he goes and preaches in Egypt and Ethiopia. St Matthew was set on fire with the love of Christ and died a martyrs death when he well into his nineties.
We too have can have an encounter with Christ everyday, in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Maybe it’s stopping in at the Church before work to say hello to Christ in the tabernacle, attend one of the daily masses, or stopping at the church to talk with Christ during your lunch break. No matter what my mind has gone through or how distracted I have been during prayer, once thing is this . . . I spent time with the Divine, I had an encounter with the one who made me and the burden I had, might be there still, but I God totally took heavy part from me.
Have a blessed week!
In Jesus, through Mary,