How many of you are good at traveling lightly? I must confess I still need to make progress in that area. I have had some good role models in Father John Phalen, Father Willy, and really all my brother priests that I’ve served with here at the Father Peyton Center who never seem to have to check luggage on a flight!
In Luke’s gospel, we hear Jesus expanding his family to include those who hear the Word of God and act on it. Now, whether you are from a large, small, or medium-sized family, most likely, there’s not too much confusion about who is in your family and who isn’t.
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If you’ve ever gone to an Ordination of Deacons, then you have heard the bishop say these words to the newly ordained: “Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” Every time I have heard those words, they have had the same powerful effect as the first time I heard them.
I want to begin by asking: how many of you like change? You might answer, it depends, is it for the good or not? And what will it take? All good questions. As we heard yesterday, there was a radical change from the time Matthew followed Jesus, both literally and in how he lived.
They say meeting a certain person can change your life. That was definitely the case for St. Matthew. Jesus' word is powerfully transformative; just two words, “Follow me,” were all it took to lead Matthew away from his wealth, security, and wayward life to follow Jesus.
Try this thought experiment: imagine a family member or friend asks you to consider something outside your comfort zone, something good but challenging. Are you open to listening to their idea? Now, what about a stranger or maybe someone you know but don’t trust…are you open to listening to them? And, finally, which category do we put Jesus in?