As a parent, have you ever had your kids “roll” their eyes at you? I know I did it to my parents as a child. Kids hit a certain age when they pretty well know that are smarter than their parents, better than their parents. The day comes when you ask your child to do something as simple as “Would you mind at least rinsing your bowl before leaving it on the counter for someone else to put in the dishwasher?” “Would you mind putting your clothes IN the laundry room instead of tossing them at the foot of the stairs for somebody else to pick up?” “Son, is it at all possible that maybe you hit the water in the toilet instead of the floor and seat around it?” Simple things asked and then, they look at you “roll” the eyes. I even had one of my beautiful children respond – along with the “roll” with “What would Jesus do?”. I calmly replied “Unfortunately for you child, I am NOT Jesus, so I don’t know. What I do know, and what I am about to show you, is why God blessed me with a hand and you with an ass though…”
So how in the heck to I tie all of that in with the message of the Gospel? Take a quick minute to read today’s Gospel…
As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
Just imagine if Matthew had rolled his eyes at Jesus. Those two simple statements “Follow me.” and “And he got up and followed him.” speak to the power of Jesus; they speak to the power of God. In reading that this morning, I began to imagine me passing by and seeing my child laying on the couch. I said to him “Cut the grass with me.” And he rolled his eyes and laughed at me. I guess I just don’t possess the same chutzpah that Jesus did. And then the Holy Spirit “rolled” his eyes at me and said, Jerry – keep reading. So I went back to the readings – our first reading from Paul’s letter to Timothy and God’s message to me became clear(er)…
Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love, …
I am urged to live in a manner worthy of my call as a father, with humility and gentleness, WITH PATIENCE, bearing with one another through love. It’s amazing how things work out, isn’t it? I started typing this post thinking my kids need to read this and learn that they shouldn’t “roll” their eyes as me – ME and the Holy Spirit takes me in a completely different direction and I realize today’ readings are meant to challenge me – not my children. It is ME who is called to be patient and bear with one another through love. Why? So I kept reading and listening…
And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.
After reading this and listening to the Holy Spirit, I was blessed with the thought this morning that each of my children have been called – by God, just like Matthew – and they have not rolled their eyes at God’s call. My four oldest are married, some with children, some without but leading beautiful lives that are centered around Christ. My four youngest children are still at home but pursuing careers and studies where they believe they are being called. Most importantly, Christ is the center and anchor of their life. Each of them were called to do different things – whether it is a hair stylist, investor, entrepreneur/actress, teacher, nanny, psychologist, astrophysicist or still undecided, they all understand what they do must be Christ centered. And so my thoughts go back to my “tag” for the day…But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Do something great for our Lord today – follow Him when He calls to you…and He will call.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.