As Christians, we each have been called in Baptism to acknowledge
that we ARE God images, called to be with/in God as we discover
who/what we are to be in our lives.
However, most of us recognize our ‘call’ to be Christian,
to be a living presence of God, through our interaction with others
along our life’s journey. We officially take on our responsibility
of ‘being called’ in Confirmation, but the realization
of what that means in each of our lives is something that gradually
dawns on us as we recognize what God calls us to be/do in our day
to day lives as adults.
In today’s first reading, Jacob has prepared his family and
servants to meet with Esau…sending them on ahead with messages
that he is coming. However, Jacob encounters a struggle at night,
when he is alone. Is this Jacob’s ‘call’ or rather,
in the struggle with the man, is it an opportunity to step back
to discern what God is inviting him to as the next step in his journey?
Isn’t that how most of our journeys evolve? We may ‘know’
that we are called to be God’s presence, but usually it is
the day to day events/struggles/celebrations that enlighten us as
to what/who/how we are really called to be. Jacob struggles through
the night with the stranger and then realizes that he had seen God’s
Recently, we lost very dear friends, a married couple, in a terrible
car accident. During the days following their death, wake, and funeral,
we became aware, that as friends and family, we had to be present
to one another in order to learn to accept the reality of their
deaths. Yet, the real challenge is to acknowledge/let God be present
in our sorrow, pain, grieving…to know that God is with us.
We have seen the face of God in our friends’ lives during
their time with us, we see the face of God in the family and friends
gathered together to mourn, and we recognize God in the journey
as we continue to be for/with one another and for/with the family
God’s call continues each day, but we need the time/place/space
to listen-to discern God’s invitation to ‘be’
for with/others. This is really what Baptism is about - an invitation
to go on the journey…not sure of the vistas and twists/turns
of the road ahead, but willing to find God along the way, and be
God’s living presence with/in each other along the way.
As today’s psalmist proclaims, “I call upon you,
for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies.”
So, when Jesus walks among the troubled and abandoned in Matthew’s
gospel, he listens and hears….and heals. He knows the struggles
and sorrows and challenges of those around him and as he reminds
his followers, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers
I think we are again called in many different ways to ‘be’
the ‘listeners and healers’ of those around us.
Do we hear the ‘call’ from our neighbor, our spouse,
our child, our co-worker…the homeless, the poor, the sorrowful?
And what/how will we respond?