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Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Calling

My coworker today was talking about the youth she works with. She had told him, "You are a disciple of Christ. But when you respond to His direct Call...then you become an Apostle."

I'd never thought of it that way before, and it startled me. I've never actually tried to define myself in those terms, disciple or apostle. I guess I just consider the Bishops to be the Apostles in the more formal sense of the word, and see myself as just a simple follower. I'm the woman in the crowd, trying to get close to Jesus. The weeping woman who wants to be a Saint...but without the suffering. The woman waiting for the Call...but not really knowing how to respond if and when he calls.

The truth is, if you are reading have been Called. Are you willing to respond? Can't you hear Jesus saying your name?

Today, I read again one of my favorite quotes from John Paul II, and so I'll share it with you again. Read it slowly. Savor every word, and are YOU defining your happiness? And are you really happy? Or are you seeking something more? This passage will speak to you at the deepest level, if you will allow it. Hear it echo in your heart as it has been echoing in mine...

It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness,

He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you;

He is the beauty to which you are so attracted;
It is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise;

It is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life;

It is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives,

The will to follow an ideal,

The refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity,

The courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society,

Making the world more human and more fraternal.

~ John Paul II, Rome, 2000

Don't you sense it? The desire to be more than you are in this moment? The recognition that you have gifts and talents that are not being used? Don't you have a burning sense, when you look around at your life, that there is more than THIS?

John Paul II saw this, and expressed it so eloquently here. He had that same zeal in his soul, the same desire to overcome the status quo, because the bar was set too low.

For myself, although I know that I am currently where God sent me to be, for now, I know it is not my calling. There is a difference. I am in a temporary place, but I know that, ultimately, it's not where I belong. There's something different. Not necessarily greater, but different. I don't know what it is, and I will remain in my place until I am bid to move. For now, it is enough to understand that for now, I have a role to fulfill. For now, that is my Call.

The greatest glory we can give to God is to do His will, in the present moment. But that is not to say that each moment is not a step towards a far more lofty plan, even though we may not understand what it is. We all are called to move forward in faith, or remain where we are in faith, or even take a step "backwards" sometimes. And it is only when we are willing to accept the cross of humility that we can see even a portion of God's divine plan for us.

And it's never about "us". It's always about something greater. And we can't possibly live up to it. Ever.

And that's when we lean on Jesus. That's when He takes over, and that's when we really learn the meaning of "sacrifice" and "charity".

There is no crown without the cross. There is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. Ever.

Are you ready to answer the Call? Are you ready to sacrifice your own will on behalf of the Kingdom of God? Are you ready to be an Apostle?

1 comment:

uncle jim said...

and from your uncle max

“Courage, my sons. Don’t you see that we are leaving on a mission? They pay our fare in the bargain. What a piece of good luck! The thing to do now is to pray well in order to win as many souls as possible. Let us, then, tell the Blessed Virgin that we are content, and that she can do with us anything she wishes” St. Maximillian Kolbe