Luke 5, 27-32
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners.
Strive, dearly beloved, that “always wherever we may be we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus.” At the time you became members of the Society, perhaps the world with scorn and derision sought to make you falter in your determination. Satan, too, desired that the love of comfort, attachment to your own opinions, rudeness in conduct, and self-will should replace your good resolutions and a life of service to God. What, then, did the good Lord do? He showed you a way to ground yourselves in humility, obedience, and sacrifice in the hidden and modest life. He rejoices to hear you repeat: “I have chosen to be an abject in the house of my God.”
Levi left everything, got up, and followed Jesus. To become a follower, he had to leave everything behind. He had to become poor to follow Jesus. You and I may not have to leave house, home and family and job in order to follow Jesus, but St. Gaspar invites us to consider other things we might consider leaving behind. What if, to follow Jesus today, I have to leave behind and let go of attachments to my own opinions? Would this allow me to let go of some anxiety or the need to succeed? Would this give me more time to work quietly and consider God’s ways? We get up and follow his way, letting go our own pursuits. Each of us has formed attachments. We hold on to things that bring us comfort, or security. It may be as simple as the daily cup of coffee, or it may be a judgment or opinion we have of our spouse, co-worker, or fellow religious. These attachments are finite. We have fallen in love with created things and God would like us to fall in love with him. He came to call sinners, but in order to follow we have to leave many things behind.
The foundation for this is Jesus himself. This is his call, his way, his will. Jesus “took off” his divinity in order to come to us. He left the glory of heaven to spend time with us on earth. He became poor that we might become rich. We are invited to have the same attitude that is found in Jesus, who though he was in the form of God did not deem equality with God as something to be exploited.
The focus is not simply on Levi's becoming poor. He also became rich as Jesus filled his heart with desire. Jesus calls us too, to an ever-deepening conversion, responding to his invitation. He will not leave us in our poverty, but invites us to the feast in the kingdom too.
- What is my deepest desire?
- What emotions, pursuits, or opinions can I let go of?
- Where might God's invitation lead me today?
 From the Third Circular Letter, 1829
 2 Cor 4:10
 Gaspar is quoting from the Vulgate from Psalm 83:11 “Elegi abjectus esse” which the Douay translates I have chosen to be an abject in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners. Modern translations from the original languages have a slightly different sense, “Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked.”
 Phil 2:5