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.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our book Conversion-Conversations.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009
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