This post may seem a little out of the norm since most of my posts are concerning Alaskan Adventures – but the homily at church this weekend was just too good not to share – I felt like it fit my life at the moment perfectly! So here it is…
The readings (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21 and Galatians 5:1, 13-18) and Gospel (Luke 9:51-62) all touched on God’s call for any and all to continue His work and bring it to completion in pursuit of salvation. In the Gospel, Christ summons a village to hear the words of His good news, and they refused to meet with Him because they were Samaritans and Jesus along with his disciples were Israelites. This was God showing His respect for the gift of human free will. Jesus never forced His love or friendship upon anyone, but gives frequent invitations that we can choose to accept or reject.
Whether you’re a prophet, Samaritan, Israelite… or a 21st century Catholic, Lutheran or atheist, every one of use is called to serve the Lord. First we must be clear: whatever is it we’re being called to do, it is God who is calling us to follow Him. It is our Lord who invites us to be with Him. It is the Holy Spirit at work giving us strength to walk with the Lord and fulfill our own book of life. How will you fill your pages?
At times, we may not recognize the Hand of God leading us, and may even resent or reject that the Lord is calling us. Even the simple invitation of loving our neighbors as ourselves will be ignored some days. Are we willing to give our lives in service for the good of others?
Too often I find myself with good intentions only to be followed by not so good actions. We are all invited to trust in the Lord, no matter how many times we fail. We are invited to walk with the Lord, no matter how many times we stumble and turn down the invitation. We are invited to renew our good intentions, no matter how many times we have had the good intentions and done nothing with them.
Taking our place and writing a chapter in our book of life is a process… Vocations in life allowing us to do God’s work are not lacking. God is always at work and calls everyone to follow Him in ways that will make a difference. Just like God chose Elisha to be Elijah’s successor in the first reading (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21), He chooses us for our own special missions, but gives us the gift of free will to say ‘no’.
We’ve all done countless good deeds and hopefully have done our best to help make people happy. Has is ultimately changed anything in their life? Will it be remembered tomorrow? Where do we fit into God’s plan for our small corner of the world? What difference will we make?
Imagine that we bring about some significant progress for human life in the modern world, it can happen, it does all the time. But this is the question: Given the billions of people who have passed through this world, where do we fit in?
Perspective. How do we perceive God’s kingdom in this world and how does the world see us?
I believe we all make a difference. We may not be the obvious ones who are canonized Saints, world leaders, scientists or others leaving their lasting mark… we’re just everyday people filling the pages in our own book of life.
There are many things that happen every day in our corner of the world that make a difference and worth remembering.
Homeless being sheltered and fed, smiling at a neighbor, someone stopping on the street to help a small child put the chain back on their bike… random acts of kindness that are so visible. What small thing can you do that will help brighten someone’s day today?
That act of kindness will be remembered and passed on to another person in need. We all have to take responsibility for the pages in our book of life, it will not be remembered for very long here on earth. But, if we are able to set aside our pride and try to find a place not in our own little kingdom we have built up here on earth, but in God’s big plan, there will be joy in heaven for us where no person, no kind act, is ever forgotten.
Isn’t that a beautiful truth?
Happy Sunday! God Bless!