SEEING SERVICE AS A PRIVILEGE, By Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp


Isaiah 58:9b-14, Luke 5: 27-32


QUOTE: “Every service to God is a privilege to be celebrated. Every opportunity we get to serve him should be celebrated and should be done with all graciousness.”

The call of Levi was greeted with a warm embrace. He declared a banquet at his home and invited the Lord to dine with him and his friends. He had reasons to refuse Jesus’ invitation, because he had enough wealth in his cover. He was not a small man in the social ladder. In worldly terms, we could say that he was comfortable. Yet, he did not hesitate to follow Jesus. He left his tax booth and follow the Lord. No one knows his inner longing all the while. Maybe he has been nursing a deep hunger for God, but found himself unworthy to make the move. It takes God to know the cry of the rich. Jesus found him out and called him.

In this period of lent, if we truly open our hearts in introversion before the Lord, he will surely tell us one or two things that we can do for him. He may want to invade our comfort zone and use us to achieve some goals in his ministry of human salvation. At this time, we could think less of what people may say about the fruits of our encounter with God. They may wonder whether we mean what we are doing or we are just pretending.

“The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples and said, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus said to them in reply, ‘It is not those who are well who need the doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the virtuous, but sinners to repentance.”

We must not be distracted by the reactions of those who know our dirty past. Let us be focused on what Jesus is about to do or what he is doing in our lives. Bystanders may have their own reservations; we are the one who determine the pendulum of our own life compass.

Moreover, no one is too big to follow Jesus. It is not about our status. It has to do with the quality in us which we may not know or which only God knows. We may be focusing on our own brokenness, while God is set to shine his light through our cracks.

Beloved, let us be ready any time to say yes whenever the Lord calls us. At this time of lent, he wants to dine with us. He wants to fix us. And he wants to use us to reach out to others who share in our lives.

The call of Levi brought a poll of other tax collectors to Jesus, may every step we take towards Jesus, draw multitude to him. Amen.


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