Come Just As You Are
“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.”
Could I entertain Jesus in my house tonight? Who would I invite? Who would just show up? Would I have the nerve—or the courage—to call the usual crowd? Or would I try to reinvent myself for this occasion? How long would I try to sustain the act?
We sometimes say that God “takes us where we’re at.” Do I truly come to prayer “as I am”? Do I allow the Lord into the living room of my heart with all the inhabitants that have taken up residence there? If I’m honest with myself I have to admit that an odd assortment of people live in my memory.
There are, of course, the people whom I cherish and whose lives are intertwined with my own: family members and close friends. Near or far, living or deceased, these loved ones live in my thoughts and prayers. It is good. On the other hand, there are others, less welcome, who invade my imagination and memory. An unsightly assortment of ghosts and skeletons clutter my mental landscape and distract me from the conversation I wish to have with Jesus. Or do they? What would happen if I brought Jesus into the place where arguments, manipulation, and betrayals lurk and periodically replay themselves?
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.” To his credit, Levi invited Jesus to his house and introduced him to the people he typically sat down to dinner with. Other people murmured (of course), but Jesus came anyway and was perfectly at ease at Levi’s table.
Perhaps I need an honest heart-to-heart with God about the people that I live with in the “real world” as well as those who populate my “inner world.”
Jesus, come into the house of my heart. Walk through the rooms of my mind: my memories, imagination, thoughts, and desires. Let us sit down together and chat for a while. I have so much to tell you—and so much I need to hear from you.
You and I both know the company I keep. Help me to leave behind relationships that are unhealthy. Help me to strengthen and heal those that need repair. You called Levi into the community of your disciples. Lord, introduce me to your friends, because in the end, I want always to be found in your company.
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.”
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 12–13). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.