Jesus "saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his customs post." —Luke 5:27
How dramatically can the Lord transform a person during Lent? Levi may be the answer to this question. After Levi left his job as tax collector to follow Jesus (Lk 5:28), Jesus changed Levi's name to Matthew. Levi means: "He will be attached" (Gn 29:34). Matthew means "gift of Yahweh." We can speculate about the details of the name-change, but it was clearly a change for the better. Jesus changed Matthew's heart (Lk 5:32), forgave him, and filled him with the Holy Spirit. Matthew compiled a Gospel. Tradition has it that he was martyred in his love for Jesus. With the apostles, he became part of the foundation of the Church (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14). Matthew is a saint in heaven. He sees Jesus face to face (1 Cor 13:12).
The Lord very dramatically transformed Matthew's life. He also wants to transform each of us. In the remaining thirty-seven days of Lent, Jesus desires to transform us "from glory to glory into His very image" (2 Cor 3:18). He wants to make us holy as He is holy (1 Pt 1:16) and perfect as He is perfect (Mt 5:48). He promises to make us "perfect in holiness" (1 Thes 5:23). In fact, by His grace, we will "become the very holiness of God" (2 Cor 5:21) and "sharers of the divine nature" (2 Pt 1:4). "He Who calls us is trustworthy, therefore He will do it" (1 Thes 5:24). Happy Lent!
Prayer: Father Potter (Is 64:7), mold me in the next thirty-seven days of Lent into one of Your masterpieces.
Promise: "You shall delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth." —Is 58:14
Praise: Jesus healed young Larry of severe asthma when several adults prayed over him.
(For a related teaching, order our book Conversion-Conversations.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2010 through March 31, 2010. †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009.
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