January 25, 2017
by Julie Kalkowski
Creighton University's Heider College Of Business
click here for photo and information about the writer

Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle
Lectionary: 519

Acts 22:3-16
Psalms 117:1bc, 2
Mark 16:15-18

Praying Ordinary Time

What are we called to do?  Wouldn’t it be great if we all got signs as clear as Saul?  A sign so unambiguous that he changed his name to Paul?  Instead we get nudges from our God that pale in comparison in terms of illumination. 

While I don’t mean to whine, it seemed much more obvious for the early disciples. They had a clearly defined mission, but what about us?  Has Jesus’s message changed?  Do we not have the same mission as the early disciples?  While most of us will never risk death by following Jesus, there are still risks.  Our family and friends might think we are foolish or easily taken advantage us when we try to live the gospel values.  In my early 20s, I volunteered with the Sinsinawa Dominicans and they taught me that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  There have been many times I have probably been taken advantage of by following this advice.  However, as Christians, aren’t we supposed to error on the side of generosity? 

How did we today get so far away from Jesus’s work?  How do we get back?  While we reflecting on today’s reading, a little road map seemed to surface.  We can begin by seeing and reflecting on all the blessings we have been given and to thank God for them.   As humans, we tend to see what we “don’t” have instead of being able to see the amazing gifts we have been given.  The map then pointed to the direction of family, friends and neighbors to see if anyone could use some kindness or help in their lives.  Then the map led me gaze at others in my community or even other countries and focus on how they can feel God’s love through me.   While this may not be risking what the earliest Christians risked, it is a way back to Jesus’ work.  Following this map will often be daunting, but I believe it will bring joy to our lives. 

So, we can think about what we can do today to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus to those we meet.  But, let us be sure we “don’t delay” as Paul was admonished in today’s reading.  We will then see where the journey of being the “hands and feet of Jesus “ takes us.

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