Saturday, February 21, 2015

Reflection for Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
IS 58:9-15B
PS 86: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6
LK 5: 27-32

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Belize, the tiny Central American country bordered by Mexico and Guatemala, with a group of students and professionals from the University.   On one of the final days there, I along with two colleagues, met a local artist and wood carver, named Frank, who was perhaps one of the most Christ-like people I have ever met.   Upon seeing us, Frank immediately jumped up from his workbench, leaving everything behind, and began sharing with us stories about his life and his faith-inspired artwork.  He shared that through his own struggle with cancer, he had come to realize his reliance on God.  As our conversation progressed, it became clear that Frank was a spiritually deep person with a profound trust in God and God’s plan for his life.  Much like Levi in today’s Gospel, Jesus called, and Frank followed.

The key to Levi’s response, and Frank’s, I believe, was a profound sense of humility. On the surface, the story of Levi is a simple story of a call and response.  What lies beneath the surface, however, is the story of someone who had the humility to realize that he was in need of God’s grace and compassion.   Both Levi and Frank were willing to see their own sinfulness. This was the main difference between the scribes and Pharisees and Levi.

Ultimately, Lent is a time for practicing humility.  It is a time for looking inward, for going deeper and for realizing our own need for conversion and grace to be followers of Jesus. 

This Lent, let us recommit ourselves to going deeper- to introspection and humility.  Perhaps by realizing our own need for God’s grace and healing, we, like Levi, may heed the call to follow Jesus.

Ben Smyth is the Manager of the Service Leadership Program in the Cook School of Business.

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