Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 9, 2013
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
Gifts from God
"As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called
Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him,
'Follow me.' And Matthew got up and followed Jesus."
Matthew's birth obviously had been a source of deep
parental joy and celebration because his name literally
means "God's gift." Yet little Matthew grew up to be
an adult who broke his parents hearts. Their beloved
son grew to be an outcast among his own people as a
result of his lifestyle of bad decisions and moral
Jesus was God's gift to Matthew. Jesus searched for
Matthew with a startling invitation to become part of
his beloved community of faithful disciples. From
Matthew's spontaneous response, we learn there is a
place at God's table for everyone. Each reader is
invited to respond to Jesus with the enthusiasm, joy,
and gratitude of Matthew. This is our gift to God.
Still another divine gift awaits us. On the evening
of Matthew's dramatic calling into discipleship, he
hosted a lavish dinner party with Jesus as his honored
guest. Many of Matthew's friends and colleagues
attended along with the Pharisees. The Pharisees
classified Matthew and his tax collector associates
as despicable sinners. These sanctimonious religious
authorities were scandalized by the fact that Jesus
ate with such relish in the presence of such people.
Jesus' gift to us is his response to his critics, "It
is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
But go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not
sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous,
but sinners" (Matthew 9:12). This gift challenges us
to reexamine our attitudes towards people we believe
are unforgivable sinners and outcasts.
God has many gifts for us through the example of
Matthew. Perhaps the greatest gift is the call of
divine mercy and forgiveness to all people, including
lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people
excluded by legalistic, judgmental, and abusive religion.
The Bible contains many unspoken yet intriguing life
stories. Priceless gifts are waiting to be found by
every thoughtful searcher willing to sift and ponder
the meaning of these stories.
Merciful and compassionate God, we thank you for so
many spiritual gifts today. Teach us more of divine
mercy and forgiveness. Help us get up and follow Jesus
with the courage, joy, and gratitude of Matthew. Bring
us into new life with Christ. Protect us from the
judgmental attitudes of the Pharisees. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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