Following Jesus in Lent

Once again he went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus heard this and said to them, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." (Mark 2: 13-17)

Today begins our journey through Lent to the Cross on Calvary. The Scripture passage above depicts our Lord calling Levi (Matthew) from his post at the tax collector's table to "come follow me." Imagine what it was like for Matthew to be challenged to take a different course in life and meet the Lord. Labeled as a sinner by others, he was now asked to be an example for them and for us.

We are now asked to follow Jesus -- to leave our sinfulness behind and experience of the Father's forgiveness. Like Matthew, may we take ownership of our wrong doings and walk the other road, the one less traveled.