Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reflection for the 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – I Was No Prophet

Amaziah, priest of Israel, had a big problem in the form of a pesky prophet. Amos wouldn't shut up. He kept prophesying against the northern kingdom of Israel, calling out its rulers and people for their sins. Amaziah just wanted to get rid of Amos, so he basically told him to take a hike and go prophesy in the southern kingdom if he was so insistent upon making a career as a prophet.

Amos responded (probably with a sniff), “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.” He certainly hadn't asked for the job, but God had called him, and he had obeyed. Now, though, he had a mission and a message, and he was bound to see them through even if he had to be a pesky prophet.

Friday – Matthew

If there were ever anyone least likely to be a disciple of Jesus, Matthew was probably the one. He was a tax collector and therefore despised by his fellow Jews for collaborating with the Romans and taking money from his fellow countrymen. Matthew may or may not have been like many tax collectors who charged higher than the standard rate and then skimmed a good portion of the top for themselves. But in any case, he wasn't a prime candidate for a holy man's followers.

But Jesus chose Matthew anyway, very simply and very directly. All He said to him was “Follow Me,” and Matthew got up and followed Him. We might wonder what else was going on. Did Jesus catch Matthew's eye in a particular way? What was the tone of His voice? What was the expression on His face? The Bible doesn't tell us, but we know that something about Jesus touched Matthew to his very core because he never hesitated and he never looked back. At that moment, Matthew left his entire life behind and started fresh, following the One Who would become his whole eternity.

Saturday – My Voice

In today's Gospel acclamation we hear, “My sheep hear My voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow Me.”

Do we hear the Lord's voice? Do we pay attention when He speaks to us in the depths of our hearts? Through our conscience? Through our mother, the Church? In the Sacred Scriptures? In nature? Through the people around us? Through the events of our lives? Do we recognize His voice?

Our Lord knows exactly what we need to hear and when we need to hear it. He knows us better then we know ourselves. Every hair on our heads is counted. That's how well He knows us and how much He loves us.

Do we follow Him?

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