Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF

We see two bodily actions referred to, in today’s reading. Levi was “seated” at the customs post when Jesus walked by. Jesus passes by and calls him. Levi “gets up and follows” Jesus.  Being seated and being on the move.

Conversion needs a movement from being seated to being on foot. We are often so deeply seated in many worldly habits, rotting in them yet refusing to change. In being so stationery, we are stuck in the same place with the familiar surroundings and even with familiar people. We nest in where we are. Getting up from such familiar ambience and moving forth to a different direction needs courage. No easy task. Levi did it, “leaving everything behind” and a new life was his reward.

It is not enough that we simply get up and move. It is very important in which direction and after whom we move. Levi moved in the direction towards Jesus and walked behind him. In the first reading, Isaiah’s instructions are all about being on the move, but guided by God. “The Lord will guide you always,” he says. Isaiah also underlines that this movement is for the sake of doing what one can, to remove from our midst weapons of mass destruction such as false accusations and malicious speech as well as to bestow bread on the hungry and comfort the afflicted. It is always a movement after Jesus to reach out to the needy.

Along with the Psalmist of the day, we shall pray: “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.”  That we may always be on the move, behind the Master to the margins of the world. 

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