Saturday 14 March 2015 — Latest update Sunday 8 January 2017

9 Saturday after Ash Wednesday Samedi après les Cendres :

“When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting at the tax office, and said to him : ’Follow me. ’And leaving everything Levi got up and followed Him.”

Is. 58, 9-14 Ps. 85 Lk. 5, 27-32

Saturday after Ash Wednesday “It is not those who are well who need the doctor, but the sick.” Is.58,9-14 Ps.85 Lk.5,27-32 “When Jesus went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi, sitting at the tax office, and said to him ’follow me.’ And having left everything, Levi got up and followed him.” Levi gives up everything; such a lovely experience to go through! He welcomes the life offered to Him fro Jesus’ call. Following Him is going to be such a lovely adventure. A new relationship immediately brings Jesus to Levi’s house, he invites his friends. The publicans exert their profession in the service of the foreigner occupying the country, the Romans, pagans. Jesus hd looked at Matthew who remains in his gaze which calls him forth. Jesus sees Levi in depth, just as he is, such as he will be capable of becoming. The way he looks at him is non-judgemental, he sees what is real in him and he says to him : ’Follow me.’ Levi (Matthew) who was treated as a sinner and thief follows him straight away.Jesus’ Love shines forth God’s Love! This Light passed into Matthew’s life , he was dazzled by it/ Not only does Matthew receive light but he gives light! This surprises those around him : God’s Tenderness awakens the love that drowses in expectation in Matthew’s heart. "Levi in his honour held a great reception in his house, and with them at table was a large gathering of tax collectors and others. The Pharisees and the scribes complained to his disciples and said “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus is happy with this relationship which marks the evolution of a man out of a gaze of Love. Levi surprises himself to no longer see his work colleagues in the same way as before, there is a love awakened in his heart. Levi opens up his home and table to Jesus who sits down with him at the sinners’ table. With Jesus we enter into a relationship of depth. In his Light, no one tries to give a good impression but remains with their faults and failings. Their distress is still within them. This is lovely revelation in our dark night often deprived of stars. At night a mirror remains opaque, but if the sun rises the mirror gets the light and sends it back. Jesus places his Light in our darkness, he puts Love in a world of hatred, his Truth in a world of lies. We want to be encountered like Matthew, be shining with this Love and Light.     “Jesus said to them in reply ’It is not those that are well who need the doctor, but the sick. I have come to call not the upright but sinners to repentance.” This Word is for each one of us in faith. We want to hear Jesus’ declaration which expresses the best of Himself, his merciful tenderness.  There is nothing better we can do in our lives than to enter with Him in the depths of our being.  We are poor, but available to live from his word, that which we receive from Him. But what a scandal this proves to be for the Pharisees and scribes. In each person God spreads out his Spirit of Love. Jesus became man, grace overcomes sinfulness.  Levi leaves his profession for Jesus, he welcomes life after this call. For us too, by giving up everything we want to follow Jesus, we surrender ourselves to Him for a relationship which will evolve and change us. If we are touched by God’s Love, all our relationships are going to be transformed. This Love takes on shape by getting us to be reborn, we shall rebuild God’s work on ancient ruins!   We ask for the grace to ’shine’ God’s Love as we learn to do so from Jesus.

SATURDAY after Ash Wednesday

Saturday after Ash Wednesday : week 00

“Levi held a great reception in his house, and with them at table there was a large gathering of tax collectors and others.” We want to remain in the gaze of “Jesus who notices.” We know by experience that our relationships mark their evolution by the way we look upon each other. All of a sudden we are taken by surprise that we no longer consider our friends in the same way. It is perhaps the sign of a love that is growing in benevolence. Jesus does likewise, he sees and notices Matthew .He sees and notices the guests at the meal. Jesus is attentive, he observes each person with such benevolence. He sees Levi in depth, such as he is and has become, as he is capable of becoming, as he aspires to be. His way of looking at us does not judge, but he sees our reality with such benevolence and he says to him : “Follow me.” Matthew does so straight away.

God’s Love shines forth in Light! This Light passed through Matthew’s life and he was dazzled by it. Not only does Matthew receive light, but he gives back light! This surprises those around him : the Tenderness of God awakens the love that is lying low in Matthew’s heart. Jesus witnesses this transformation, and he goes into join the feast.

“The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples and said, Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus will say ’I came to call the sinners and the publicans.’ Certainly, it is in the night of faith that we give our response! What can we do? By placing ourselves in an attitude of hearing what Jesus does, considering what he says, what he expresses, we can let ourselves be touched by Him.. We enter into a deep relationship with him with all that is lacking in ourselves, with whatever is distressing us, our fragilities also, and without trying to put on a show. Throughout our whole life Jesus will present himself to us : ’Lord, answer me! I am poor and unhappy, have pity on me, each day I call out to you!“This cry, which could be Matthew’s prayer, is answered! It is a revelation in a starless night. A mirror remains opaque at night, but with the rising sun the mirror is lit up and sends back light.”You are going to be healed and freed“, said Isaiah, if you take away all nasty words from your mouth, if you give with generosity, your light will shine in the darkness.’ Jesus brings Light in our darkness, he puts Love in a world of hatred, Truth in the world of lies. "Jesus said to them in reply :’ It is not those that are well who

need the doctor, but the sick. I have come to call not the upright but sinners to repentance.’ “We want to let ourselves be encountered like Matthew, shining forth with this joy and light.This very day, whatever my way in life may have been, I make myself available to hear his Word, the Word I receive from him at this moment. “Leaving everything”the Gospel says about Matthew. He welcomes life from that moment he was called to follow Jesus. There was a follow-up to this event, this Word opened up perspectives, for it is a Promise. It opens up eternally for he who calls commits himself by this calling. For us, also, by leaving everything, we want to follow Jesus, leaving our own selves for a relationship that will evolve and change us. We see also that what follows brings about something prodigious, a bountiful feast. He invites his friends to be with his Lord. The Love of God and the love of brothers is the same thing. When the “mirror” of our being is lit up, it shines with light. This shining is God shining in the world! If we are touched by God’s Love, all of our relationships will be transformed. God’s love touches and transforms us! This Love takes the shape of a body and has us be born into a new being : ’If you give generously, if you take away nasty words from your mouth, if

you take away the threatening gesture’ you shall be completely renewed! The Lord will fill you, you will become a source. You will rebuild ancient ruins: You will be one who rebuilds, who reconstructs the work of God! “Your obscurity, your darkness will be enlightened by light!”

We ask for the grace to “shine forth” the Love of God ,thus imitating Jesus.