February 20, 2021
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
‘Follow Me’
He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Luke 5:27-28

About the time I become better focused on “leaving everything” that keeps me from having an undivided heart, up pops another distraction to lead me astray. This might be due to a nagging irritation about someone’s behavior or learning about a new version of a digital device I obsessively think I must have. My heart detours from following wholeheartedly when something grabs my mental and emotional attention to the extent that I become overly self-oriented.

I wonder if Levi, the tax collector, diverged from attentively following. After leaving his customs post to join Jesus, did he ever get sidetracked later on and want to avoid the challenging teachings he heard? Did he wander off for a while in fear of the local religious leaders who threatened his spiritual mentor? Maybe Levi did. If so, he kept returning to the One who touched his heart and said, “Follow me.

”We can keep returning too.

- Sr. Joyce Rupp

Isaiah 58:9b-14 • Psalm 86:1-6 Luke 5:27-32

Comments

February 20, 2021 at 05:56 PM

Sr. Joyce, thank you for your "perfect-timing" devotion. * I read your devotion earlier this morning and what you wrote, "My heart detours from following wholeheartedly when something grabs my mental and emotional attention to the extent that I become overly self-oriented" stayed in my mind all day. I just had to respond by thanking you for getting my attention back to focusing on and following Jesus and continuing my "Lenten Journey". I was feeling distracted and sidetracked but I'm back on track. ”We can keep returning too". *** “Follow me.” "The call of Jesus addresses the mind, but it is meant to move through the mind into the body, and through the body into the whole of one’s life, into the most practical of moves and decisions". God Bless our Living Faith Family and continued prayers for all.

February 20, 2021 at 01:13 PM

The answer is absolutely yes, Levi (Matthew), the tax collector, did diverge and sidetrack! I have no doubt, why? *Paul said in Romans 7:18-19, "And I (Paul) know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." *So it is with me :-( as Paul expressed it this way in Romans 7:21-24, "I (Paul) have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?" *So what is the answer to my problem? Paul told us in Romans 7:25, "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin." ***What did God do? (You see, it isn't what I do!) John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (Jesus)!" ***Hear the heart of God in Ezekiel 33:10b-11ab, "You are saying, ‘our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live!" ***Jesus said in Luke 5:32, "I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners!" And I know Jesus came to call all of us because Paul said in Romans 3:10-12, "As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” *******So no matter your question, the answer is, "Jesus Christ!" The Bible is clear that all people are God’s creation (Colossians 1:16), and that God loves the entire world (John 3:16), but only those who believe in Jesus are children of God in John 1:12, "But to all who believed Him (Jesus) and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God." ***My prayer, "O Lord, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for Your help. Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry" for those who have rejected You, those who don't know You, those who don't think they need You, and those who go their own ways...have mercy on them and draw them to Yourself with the power of Your Holy Spirit! Use me when You see fit :-) Amen! (Psalm 86:5-6) ***How can I be saved? Acts 16:30-31, "Then he (the jailer) brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They (Paul and Silaas) replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” https://youtu.be/hf09XJCCMsg ***The River by Jordan Feliz https://youtu.be/hf09XJCCMsg

Salina
February 20, 2021 at 01:20 PM

The River by Jordan Feliz https://youtu.be/maT4phfTXR4

February 20, 2021 at 01:01 PM

Amen.

February 20, 2021 at 11:27 AM

I love the last line... “We can keep returning too.” That is the most comforting and hopeful part.

February 20, 2021 at 10:31 AM

Todays readings are so important to each of us as we begin this Lenten Season, to recall the true message, repent, begin a new and follow the Christ. The Calling of Matthew and all of us. Leave all of your sins behind and you will receive the strength to find the light. You will gain strength needed, to be able to bring others to the light from darkness. Do not fear, God will provide all we need to do the works for God and his church. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth. What do we see from the Pharisees and scribes, yes judgement. Their judgement was looking within themselves, their own opinions on how things ought to be in their own world. How can you eat and drink with sinners, they were not only judging Matthew and his friends during their dinner at Matthews home, they are judging us when we follow Jesus. Let us accept others as ourselves and be in communion with them on our journey with Christ. Jesus is the true food and has not come for the ones who think they are perfect, but has come for us, sinners, so that we may someday soon, see the light. Prayers for the Living Faith Family, for those who do not have anyone to pray for them and for all of the souls in Purgatory, so that they will be reunited in Heaven with Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

February 20, 2021 at 10:09 AM

I am one who has become sidetracked on occasions doing things my way. And, although I am extremely thankful that the Lord takes me back, my ultimate goal is to stay on the path of righteousness. I pray everyday for that grace! My continued prayers and blessings for a beautiful day.

February 20, 2021 at 09:46 AM

Thank you Sister Joyce. You always make things clearer for me.

Florence Phillips Respond to comment
February 20, 2021 at 09:15 AM

It is such an incredible assurance and comfort that we can keep returning too. And more than that, He will take us back.

February 20, 2021 at 09:08 AM

Amen. Beautiful reflection.

February 20, 2021 at 08:39 AM

Amen. Thank you Sister Joyce and Sham Peter for your inspiring words.

Sham Peter Narine Respond to comment
February 20, 2021 at 06:44 AM

Thanks Sr Joyce for today's devotion. Reaching out to the self-righteous and the marginalized. We must not think that the marginalized, such as sinners and non-believers, were the target of our Lord and our mission as well. Jesus came for the sick and this includes all the self-righteous, like the Pharisees and the Scribes. They too need forgiveness and salvation. Pope Francis often reminds us that we need to soil our hands and feet, be in the forefront of those who need help and salvation. We need to work among them, be present in their midst, show them the mercy and compassion of God. We cannot be exclusive in our relationship with people who have different moral positions, faith and beliefs from ours. They are all children of God. Prayer for all the living faith family members. Have a blessed day everyone.

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