Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 14.01.2023
HEBREWS 4: 12 – 16
Brethren: The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 19: 8, 9, 10, 15 (R.) John 6: 63c
R/. Your words, O Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the Lord is perfect;
it revives the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are steadfast;
they give wisdom to the simple. R/.
The precepts of the Lord are right;
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear;
it gives light to the eyes. R/.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The judgements of the Lord are true;
they are, all of them, just. R/.
May the spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,
win favour in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer! R/.
Luke 4: 18
The Lord has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives.
“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
MARK 2: 13 – 17
At that time: Jesus went out again beside the sea; and all the crowd gathered about him, and he taught them. And as he passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with the tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
[1/14, 6:53 AM] Tk: GOSPEL REFLECTION: Discerning the Will of God
January 14, 2023
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus. (Mark 2:14)
How do you know the will of God for your life? In his spiritual classic, The Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius of Loyola presented three ways in which we come to know the will of God. (See mycatholic.life/ignatius for more.) The first way is the clearest and most definitive way. It is a time in which the person experiences a “clarity beyond doubting” as a result of a special grace of God. In describing this experience, Saint Ignatius mentions the passage quoted above as an illustration of this experience.
There is little said about this call of Levi in the Gospel of Mark, which is also recorded in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 9:9). Levi, who is also known as Matthew, was going about his occupation of collecting taxes at his customs post. It appears that Jesus spoke only these two simple words to Levi: “Follow me.” As a result of these two words, Levi abandons his former life and becomes a follower of Jesus. Why would Levi do such a thing? What was it that convinced him to follow Jesus? Clearly there was much more than just a two-word invitation from Jesus that convinced him to respond.
That which convinced Levi was a special grace of God which produced within his soul a “clarity beyond doubting.” Somehow Levi just knew that God was calling him to abandon his former life and embrace this new life. There was no long discussion, no weighing of the pros and cons, no prolonged thinking about it. Levi just knew, and he responded.
Though this form of clarity in life is rare, it’s important to be aware of the fact that sometimes God does act this way. This is a great gift when it happens! And though this depth of instant clarity is not always the way God speaks to us, it’s important to acknowledge that God does speak to us this way at times.
Reflect, today, upon this call of Levi. Ponder this inner certitude he was given in that moment. Try to imagine what he experienced and what others may have thought of his choice to follow Jesus. Be open to this same grace; and if you ever feel as if God speaks to you with such clarity, be ready and willing to respond without hesitation.
My dear Lord, thank You for calling us all to follow You without hesitation. Thank You for the joy of being Your disciple. Give me the grace to always know Your will for my life and help me to respond to You with total abandonment and trust. Jesus, I trust in You.