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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Saturday

Lenten reflection, day 4

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 58:9-14; Psalm 86; Luke 5:27-32

St. MatthewLevi (Matthew) had one of the most despicable jobs in Israel: he was a tax collector, not for the local Jewish government but for the occupying Romans. He took money from family, friends, and countrymen and gave it to a hated foreign power. What he could skim off the top went into his own pocket.

What an unlikely person for Jesus to call to be a disciple. Yet that is precisely what He did.

Upon his call, Matthew left everything and followed Jesus. He then threw a party, as he wanted to share his newly found blessedness with others.

Jesus has given all of us the same command that He gave Matthew: “Follow me!” It does not matter how unlikely or unworthy we—or others—may consider ourselves.

Lent is a special time of year to examine that call and our response. Are we willing to imitate Matthew and leave all—or at least put everything else secondary to our relationship with Jesus? And then are we willing to imitate Matthew and share our blessedness with others?

Father Gerard J. Knapp, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.