When my sons go on an out-of-town retreat with their youth group, they look forward to the trip on the bus almost as much as to the retreat weekend itself. There is something wonderful and exciting about embarking on a journey with others. “Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.” The response for today’s psalms invites us to rejoice as we travel with our fellow pilgrims on our way to heaven. But we have to make sure we are going in the right direction if we want to reach our destination.
In today’s gospel we hear that “the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain.” They were not complaining to Jesus, but about him. They were moving away from him, and they were taking others with them. When we sin, when we turn and walk away from God, we take others with us too. But when we repent and start walking towards Jesus, we bring others towards him too. “There will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
“Brothers and sisters: We are the circumcision, we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh.” Just as circumcision was the sign, the mark of the covenant for the Jewish people, so our lives of faith are the sign for those who want to follow Christ. They will look to us as the marker on the road they are to follow. St. Peter Julian Eymard’s life pointed us clearly in one direction: towards the Eucharist. Where is your life pointing others to?
Let Us Pray
Eternal Father, we thank you for the lives of your saints, who through their witness lead us closer to your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. May we follow their example and proclaim as St. Elizabeth of the Trinity did in her last words on earth, “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!”
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)