February 16, 2013 - in preparation of the Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.  He said to him, “Follow me.”

Levi, who became Matthew the apostle, was sitting in his main place of sinfulness.  The customs post or tax collector's booth was a place of greed, a place of addiction, a place of cheating and dishonesty… the place of his weakness.  But this is where Jesus “saw” him.  What must have been that gaze of love of Jesus as He saw Levi?  Jesus saw him not as defined by his many sins or his place of shame, but our Lord saw him - the real Levi and who he could become in God’s love.

In the same way Jesus gazes upon us even in our moments of deepest regret and sin.  Sin does not define us, but Jesus instead sees our hearts as they are, thirsting for true love.  Jesus sees the real me and who I can become in His Love.

Then Jesus said to Levi, “follow me."  As we journey this Lent, preparing to consecrate ourselves to Mary and allow Her to lead us into deeper union with the Heart of Jesus, our Lord also says to each of us in a very personal way, “follow me."  Follow me along the narrow path that I myself walked as I allowed my human nature to be formed, nourished and cared for in and by Mary.”  In allowing the Holy Spirit to act in and through Mary in our lives, we give greater glory to God because we will resemble our Lord Jesus even more deeply, following the same path that delighted His Heart.

Do I ever feel like I am just too weak to be really close to God?  Or too inconsistent with prayer?  Or too busy?  Do I see my past sins and believe that I have missed my chance?  The opposite is true.  Even my sins can give me even a better chance to receive the transforming love of God through Mary.  All that is needed is a trusting "yes."

"Yes, that is what I want - to be close to God, and I will have hope because Jesus is the Divine Physician who came specifically for those who need a doctor.  If I was well, I wouldn’t need a doctor.  So even my wounds and my sins become new chances to encounter Jesus through Mary!"

Mary, help me to believe and trust that Jesus already “sees” me deeply in His gaze of Love.  Help me to receive that gaze even now and hear the desire of Jesus for my heart.  “Follow Me.”