……from your Pastor’s Desk
The Gospel for this Sunday’s Mass is The Annunciation, where Arch-Angel Gabriel is sent by God to call Mary to be the mother of God’s only Son. Wow. Now that’s a calling. But she was ready for she had been prepared from the moment of her own conception in her mother’s womb. So, when she received ‘The Call’ she was ready, willing and able. We don’t know how long that conversation took place as her role in salvific history was explained – could have been hours or even days – but we do know how it ended: Mary, exercising her free will, said ‘yes’ to her call.
So, what about you and me? Did you feel called to the life you are leading or the career path you followed? Do you young people feel a ‘Call’ from God to a particular vocation, be it married, religious, priest or Lay Ministry? Ministers will often refer to when they received ‘The Call’ to ministry. I remember the exact time and place when I was first invited by God the Father to share in the Ministerial Priesthood of His Son. I was only 14.
Like Mary – our ‘Call’ – whatever it might be – is not just for one event. Mary said ‘yes’ to bring Jesus into the world but she also said thousands upon thousands of more ‘yes’s’ throughout her life. Including watching His arrest, torture and crucifixion, while never losing faith in His promise that He would arise!
Most of us aren’t charged with one specific task by the Lord. Becoming a priest is one thing, BEING a priest is another – as it is for marriage, getting married is one thing BEING married is another. And so instead of thinking of our calling as a singular moment we should instead think of our calling as continual. Regardless of our vocation we are repeatedly called to act in a way that shows self-respect and glorifies the Lord. Our calling is continuous. Unfortunately for some, because our calling is continuous — having no definite beginning or end — it is often difficult to remain devoted to it. Sadly, not all priests stay in ministry, not all marriages last. This is why it is so important for us to support and encourage each other along the way.
This is where being part of a faith community comes in. We pray together, we play together, we laugh and cry together. Scripture readings and weekly mass attendance [or viewing on YouTube these days] are helpful reminders to act within the Lord. And so, we use these reminders to continually return our calling to the forefront of our hearts. We strive to always act with service to the Lord and one another in mind. We don’t just sit and wait for an Arch-Angel to personally show up. We are inspired and strengthened by Word and Sacrament. We are moved and motivated by the kindness, care and compassion of others. Something as simple as a smile can be our own annunciation and give us the courage and conviction to say ‘Yes’ even if it is one day at a time.
God Bless you, those you love and those who love you.