He said to him [Levi], “Follow Me.”
And leaving everything behind,
he got up and followed Him.
Day 4: Saturday after Ash Wednesday – Luke 5:28
He said to him [Levi], “Follow Me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed Him.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
“Follow me.” What simple yet powerful words. That short statement by Jesus promises so much comfort. You are lost and you hear Him whisper, “Follow Me.” Suddenly, the way forward doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. Someone you can trust is showing you the way forward. Unfortunately however, the words “follow me” today take on an entirely new — and somewhat scary — meaning. This requires a leap of faith in a very uncertain culture, and that demands total surrender. Yes, Jesus will lead the way, but the Way of Jesus is not easy or straight or comfortable (those of you who have experienced a conversion experience, a calling, know well what I am talking about). This Way will demand sacrifice and a lot of courage. It will require everything we have to give.
Upon hearing Jesus’ call, Levi (aka Matthew) got up and left everything behind to follow Him. What a bold move … one that would pay massive, eternal dividends in the end. That kind of boldness can only come from the Holy Spirit, and even then, it would have been so much easier for Matthew to just ignore the command and stick to his own temporal business. How often do we prefer to stick to our own business, our comfort zone, rather than follow the Way of Jesus? We want to follow, but we’re busy and we’re tired and we need to work and we’re scared and … can’t it just wait until “later”? The answer is No. Jesus calls us to follow Him now, today, no matter what else is going on in our lives. The question is, are you willing to get up from whatever you are doing like Matthew (and the other apostles) and follow Him, regardless of where you find yourself today? Our hearts say, “Yes!” but our heads say, “No way.” Not now, it’s too uncertain. We’d be crazy to say yes! But that’s the call. And the call is right now. Are you ready for it? Will you answer your call? While it won’t be easy, it will most certainly be worth it.
Day 4 Lenten Meditation
Have you ever been driving in an unfamiliar place, one with lots of twists and turns and no street lights? It can be unnerving. One of the most comfortable things — certainly back before the days of GPS navigation — was to have a friend say, I’m going that way. Just follow me.” Ah, exhale. Well, Jesus offers us that same assurance but so much more: Follow Me. We look at the Gospel and at examples throughout the New Testament, and we know that this is not a command for the faint of heart. But Jesus is the only One who can guide us through the darkness, around the blind curves of our lives, to perfect safety on the other side. So today, when you are feeling uncertain, when you are not so sure where to go or how you will get there, remember that you have Someone with you guiding the way. You don’t have to lead, you just have to be obedient enough to follow Him … the One who always leads to the Promised Land.
Our Father, healing physician, lead us on this Lenten journey by revealing what is at the center of Your will for us. Help us to allow You to occupy the full place of our hearts as You grant us the grace to follow only You — not our plans and cares — toward peace and joy. Lord Jesus, we ask You today to be patient with us when we falter along the way. We want to follow, but we get scared. Walk with us and be our Light. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
*Visit a homebound person or someone who needs company and is lonely
“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off” – St. Thomas Aquinas.