The readings today speak of calling and the challenges that calling brings. They speak of the successes of this work as well as the individual trials. Today is also the feast of St. Andrew Bobola, S.J. His life follows the themes of the readings. Andrew Bobola was born in 1591 in Poland. He was called to enter the Society of Jesus and like Paul he was empowered to become a renowned preacher. His call lead him in many directions working in both Poland and Lithuania. He faced the persecution found in the Gospel being tortured and killed for his faith.
My life is less profound but I feel I may have encountered aspects of the call of the reading from Acts and facets of the difficulties expressed in the Gospel. My experience does not match the call of Timothy or the vision of Paul. My faith does not leave my life threatened.
My perception is these days many people feel threatened from economic conditions and from disease. I feel fortunate that I seem to have felt a call to do what I do. Challenges do not pose the same threat when there is sense that one is doing what one should be doing. The crises that seem to be at our door may even serve as opportunities when we are given the gift of working from our core values. I see many people upset and worried about the changes that these times bring. There is a certain safety and comfort in maintaining things as they were, in particular if one is tied to the world. In my reading of today’s scripture passages, I see a sense of God’s activity in the world. I see paths redirected by the Spirit in Acts. I see a grateful response for this interaction from the psalmist. I see the challenges presented by a materialistic world which is actively opposed to change in the Gospel.
My prayer today is for openness to the direction that the Lord sets before us. I pray for the ability to identify this direction and respond accordingly. I pray for internal guidance which flows from that which transcends the things of the world.
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