Wednesday, September 21, 2016

And He Got Up and Followed

[L]ive in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners. Matthew 9:12-13

And he got up and followed. Father, help us not to follow the eye-for-an-eye temptation set before us by the world. Help us to seek and to find the deeper meaning of unity and peace so we can be more like Christ.
And he got up and followed. Lord, St. Matthew makes it seem so easy to come to you and bring along all these other sinners. Give us the strength of Matthew to leave our possession and follow you seeking mercy, not offering sacrifice.

And he got up and followed. Holy Spirit, lift us from the easy chair of our sleepy existence and awaken us to the injustices of the word from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Charlotte, North Carolina, to Fairfax, Virginia. Get us out of our easy chairs. Push us away from the dinner table. Extract us from the confines of our cars. And we got up and followed. Amen.

The Lord is sending us word through St. Matthew and St. Paul to follow in unity, not in division, no matter what others do or how others behave. Maybe Jesus’ human side will still understand my frustration with always having to be on the “giving” side. Christian unity is more than adherence to a common belief. It is manifested in the gifts and talents that Christ bestows upon each of us as individuals – gifts to allow us to serve, to make our self and the community more like Christ, more “Christ-like.”

Christ is not the source of the church's spiritual gifts; he is the veritable glue that holds us together. The flesh on our bones, the blood in our veins. The food on our tongues, the life-giving water quenching our thirst. So no matter what different roles we play, we are here to pursue one end…Be Christ-like.

There is always the reminder from Frank McCloskey’s talk at the 108th Men’s Cursillo in Arlington. He explained that his daughter has a prayer card on her mirror. It says, “[Jesus] never said it would be easy. He only promised that it would be worth it.” So when you are tempted to let your old self rear its head, put on your new self to preserve the unity that Christ wants in His “followers.”

How can you follow Christ today?
Who can you thank for a job well done?
Who can you assist in their hour of need?

Who can you speak up for when others are silent? 

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