Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
September 17, 2006
Are You Being Called?One of the Gospel readings in this week’s Masses tells the story of the calling of the Apostles. This has always been a very interesting episode in the life and mission of Jesus. According to the movies, based on the Gospels, Jesus seems to just up and decide, one given day, to walk around and pick out twelve men, seemingly helter skelter. Peter, Andrew, James and John, Matthew etc. come and follow me ( and, he seems to insinuate, all will be fine, don’t worry, there’s no problem.) This rendition of the calling of the Apostles does nothing to boost the image of Jesus as a wise, intuitive, and/or perceptive individual, which he no doubt was.
Perhaps the way it really happened is that Jesus had had considerably long encounters with these men over the course of some months. He had had the opportunity to chat with them and had gotten to know them on, at least, a casual basis. He had also noticed them at their work. He had seen their commitment, their passion, their zeal for life. He had observed their ability to interact with one another. These were all very important observations on Jesus’ part. He did not call the Apostles in a void.
If we see and understand the Gospel calling as helter skelter, and then the priest or pastoral minister in the parish decides to “call” you, you probably have the impression that the very same thing is happening to you. You are being called out of nowhere by someone who knows nothing about you save you name and your face. In reality, the chances of that happening is slim to none. You may think that you have been unnoticed but that is probably not true if you are being asked to serve the parish in some way.
Like Jesus, the pastor and pastoral staff do notice many things. The most noticeable aspect is your spiritual portrait. Your faith, your fidelity to attendance at weekend liturgies, your interaction with family and parish members etc. Like the apostles, you are not being asked to do something you have absolutely no aptitude for. Jesus knew that he would have to spend some time teaching and training his followers. This is true for you too.
The challenge of being called is not so much in the area of having to be trained. It lies in the area of having a positive outlook on yourself, i.e., having a healthy self-esteem, and trusting that God has indeed given you the gifts you need to serve his people in one capacity or other. Now, you may be thinking, what if you make a mistake like Jesus evidently did with Judas? Well, mistakes are made in every walk of life but they are indeed the exception. Even Judas hung in there during the training sessions. And, perhaps that is what Judas was called to do. But don’t forget, Judas had a choice. He made the decision to betray. The problem was not with his inabilities.
Perhaps we could all spend a little time praying and reflecting on the call that Jesus would like to make to us. What are your strengths and talents? What are you capable of doing? Do you trust God enough to believe that he has given you what you need to serve him and his people?
If not, perhaps you would like to ask him to strengthen that Trust. I bet he would do it too!
Have a Great & Positive week.
Lorette P. Nault