Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Is there anything you feel God is calling you to? Anything you feel you need to do or to be? What is holding you back? - Daily Reflections September 21, 2016

Inside the Contrarelli Chapel in the church of the French Congregation San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, one can find the famous masterpiece of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio entitled “The Call of Matthew” completed in 1599-1600. This oil on canvas shows Jesus’ call of Matthew, the tax collector, as depicted in today’s Gospel.
       The painting shows Matthew dressed in typical gentleman style of Caravaggio’s time, leaning over the counting house table. Beside him is a man also leaning over the table with one hand reaching towards the coins waiting to be counted. Standing at the door dressed in typical first-century garments of Judea is Jesus, and right behind Him is Peter. As Jesus calls Matthew, He points a finger toward him. Anyone familiar with Michelangelo’s famous Creation painting at the Sistine chapel at the Vatican can easily recognize that Jesus’ finger in the Call of Matthew resembles that of the Creator reaching out to Adam in the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
       Incredulous that Jesus would call him, Matthew still had one hand protecting the coins while his other hand pointed to himself as if saying, “Who, me?” Yes, you!
       Jesus calls everyone. Notice the finger of Jesus pointing at Matthew? Caravaggio purposely depicted it to resemble the finger of God the Creator giving life to Adam. Just as God called Adam out of nothingness into existence, Jesus’ call is life-giving, re-creating, renewing.
       Every now and then, I still get comments like, “It must be difficult for you, Father, you gave up so many things for Christ.” Honestly, I did not give up anything. I only exchanged it for something just as good, if not better. Jesus did not take anything away; He just gave me something else.
       Be not afraid of Jesus’ call. When He calls, you will lose nothing. On the contrary, you will gain everything. Yes, you! Jesus calls you. Do not miss out on your life-changing, life-giving opportunity. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Is there anything you feel God is calling you to? Anything you feel you need to do or to be? What is holding you back?
Lord Jesus, grant me the sensitivity to the many ways, instances and people by which You call me. Grant me the courage not to hold back. Amen.

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