Daily Reflection
July 10th, 2007

Cathy Weiss Pedersen

Campus Ministry
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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 face.

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 left behind.

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 are few”.

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?

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