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SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2024






Gospel

Lk 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.

He said to him, “Follow me.”

And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.

Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,

and a large crowd of tax collectors

and others were at table with them.

The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,

“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus said to them in reply,

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.

I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”



REFLECTION

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.

I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”



Five months ago I had a near death experience. I was not familiar with the new car, it was dark and I was in a hurry. Forgetting something in the house, I stepped out of the car not realizing that, even though the engine was silent, the car was in the drive position. The driveway slopes down so the car took off with my right leg in the car, the left foot on the driveway. I was headed toward a bunch of trees. Not having the physical strength to lift myself into the car, I did not let go of the steering wheel for fear that I would be knocked down under the car. Eventually my left leg could not keep up with the speed of the car so I fell on my left knee and was dragged.


I have always wondered what does one say or pray when a catastrophe is happening and death or physical injury are the only two imminent alternatives. There is no way I could humanly stop what was happening. Death or physical trauma were playing out in front of my eyes.


I said the Jesus prayer many times. My right hand held on to the steering wheel, my left knee was dragged, and my right leg was inside the car. I could not see where the car was going. Slowly it came to a stop, having missed all the trees and barely missing a tree just a few feet away when it stopped. It was nothing but a miracle that there was no damage to me or the car. My pants and left shoe were destroyed. My knee had a deep gash.


I am still healing from the injuries to my knee. Healing has resulted in an itchy painful keloid especially noticed when kneeling. It is a good healthy reminder how good God was to me that day.


The Lord will guide us always and He hears and gives us the gift of His graces. Why did He allow this to happen to me? When we suffer we are called to participate in His sufferings. God wishes to heal us from the inside out. Hastiness, not paying attention to my actions, tardiness are definitely in need of work. Persevering prayer, patience, not relying on myself and humility are some things to work on this Lent.


I am reminded of His goodness, of His kindness and how one needs to be prepared for death. Most of all I am aware of His love and my deep gratitude for all He does for me.


I thank God for saving my life and for the physical reminder of that day. "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do." I am still healing with the help of God from whom all healing comes from. Not just physical but spiritual.


My hope can never be in myself but only in the One who saves me. He is the one who delivers me in confession from my miserable condition.


May all our thoughts, words and actions be pleasing to God. "Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth" (Psalm 86)


God bless you



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