SATURDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Psalm 19: 7-10, 14
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
Our scriptures today tell us how God looks on the heart and is able to know the mind. In the first reading, we hear how the word of God judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart and we have a high priest able to understand and sympathize with our weakness. With a God who understands and sees our hearts so completely, we can be bold and confident approaching him with our needs knowing he understands them and trust he will answer them better than we can see.
The psalmist declares how the laws of the Lord are perfect and right and prays the words of his mouth and meditation of his heart will be acceptable to God. In the gospel, Jesus, walking along, calls Matthew to follow him. Matthew, immediately gets up and follows him.
Our scriptures today point out how God looks on, sees, and understands the heart. Having been tempted, he understands our sin but still looks past it to the heart. Jesus knew Matthew’s heart. Even though he was in a dishonest profession, living a life of sin with other sinners, Jesus knew what was in his heart. He knew he was ready to leave it all and immediately welcome Jesus into his life and follow him.
No matter what the condition of our hearts are at this time, Jesus knows and understands. He sees our pain, our sin, our needs, and our wants. He sympathizes with our weaknesses and fully knows and understand what leads us to sin. Yet, he looks past it all and calls us to follow him. He still sees the heart that he made that is eager to accept the invitation to follow.
Today, let Christ’s call to “Follow me” penetrate your heart. Know that whatever is happening in your life at this time, Christ’s call on your life remains the same. His love and understanding of your innermost thoughts and heart remains the same.