Wellspring Community

snapdragons

BEING CALLED AND SENT

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life!

Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect..

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence – Solitude…to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.

Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

May this moment and all other coming moments open new doors for you and may God bless you with wisdom and courage to walk in faith, as you continue your journey of life!

Last Sunday, we met Jesus in the Synagogue reading from the Scroll and proclaiming a time of healing, forgiveness, justice and liberation and he claimed that these words were being fulfilled in him (Luke 4:21-30). Some of the listeners of Jesus were moved with admiration. Others just couldn’t handle what they heard……. “

We know him and his family”, they said. How could anyone expect the Prophesy of Isaiah to be fulfilled in a carpenter’s son? Jesus wasn’t what they expected and so he was rejected. But he proclaimed that he had a ministry of liberation, he was sent for it.

Our meditation today is about “being called and sent for ministry”. Words like “called, sent and ministry” were terms generally understood to apply to the ordained clergy: bishops, priests and deacons. Since the Second Vatican Council, however, believers have been renewed in the awareness that all are ministers and all are called to ministry by virtue of their baptism into Jesus Christ.

Etymologically, the word “ministry” is derived from the Latin minus, which means “less.” Therefore, it could be said that ministers count themselves the least of all and exercise their ministry as servants of all. Placing whatever gifts and talents they have received from God, as well as whatever skills and knowledge they have acquired, at the service of others – ministers thus bear authentic witness to Jesus who, by his own claim, came among us as “one who serves.”

The following Scripture passages give us good insights into the nature of ministry: Isaiah 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Psalm 138; Luke 5:1-11. Isaiah and Paul share with us their experience of God’s call to ministry. Luke tells us of Jesus’ call of Peter, James and John for ministry. The calls of these various ministers of God serve as an impetus for us to reassess our own personal calls from God to minister to our community and our call as church to the world.

For Isaiah, ministry meant summoning the courage to speak God’s word, to interpret God’s will and to call his contemporaries to repent and return to God’s ways.

Jeremiah protested that he was too young to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19). But he heard the voice of God saying to him, “to whomever I send, you shall go and whatever I put in your mouth, you shall speak”. So he responded to God’s call which required of him to, “gird up your loins, stand up and tell them” what God had revealed. God promised to be with him and make him a “pillar of iron and a wall of brass” against which none would prevail.

Being empowered by God Jeremiah began his mission. He had a tough mission, “destroy and demolish…build and plant”. He spoke and begged his people to change, reform and turn to God’s ways….Jeremiah failed to reform his people. But he remained faithful to the mission God had given him.

God calls and empowers us to respond and be faithful to His call through difficult times. Trust in God! Be strong! Be faithful!

For Paul, ministry meant setting aside his former convictions about Christ and the church so as to accept Jesus as messiah; ministry required that Saul the persecutor become Paul the proclaimer of the Good News.

For Peter, James and John, ministry meant doing as Jesus asked even when it seemed illogical, admitting their sinfulness and overcoming their fears so they could become who Jesus called them to be: fishers of people.

Peter and his friends fished all night without success. At daybreak, they found Jesus on the shore. At the word of Jesus, they cast their nets again and had a great catch.

The unsuccessful and disappointing night is turned into joy because they listened to the word of Jesus. Trust in the word of Jesus helps us rise above our failures, disappointments, etc.

The disciples, who worked hard all night without success, were asked to try again and take different approach, “cast your net off to the starboard side”. They tried again without complaint, they open to try something different and they had a great catch.

Try again and again! Take a different approach, a new approach….try something that has not been tried before… Never give up! This is what all ministers are called to do

“Do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked Peter…..more than the fish, the net, the sea, the career, all knew and all he had! Peter simply said, “You know that I love you” and made no comparisons. The Lord knew him and trusted him with his mission.

Do you love me more than all you know, all you have?………this is a good question for our reflection today……take time to prayerfully reflect and respond to the Lord’s question. Remember, love must find expression in ministry, in service!

Jesus had warned Peter about the kind of life that he would have to live and the kind of sacrifice he would have to make and the eventual surrender of his will to God’s will. Then he said to Peter, “Follow me”. At this point Peter asked Jesus about John. Jesus, in simple words, said to Peter that he had his call and he had to respond to that call and he didn’t have to worry about the call and response of John……it is another way of saying, “you have your mission……you don’t have to compare yourself with others……..”

Why worry about what another may or may not do…You have your mission. Carry on your mission, if you really love…Your love must transcend control comparison and competition. Love must each out in service….go beyond the call of duty…..and walk the extra mile!

St. James advises us, as he did the early Christians, not to worry about our success or that of others, but be patient and persevering. “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. … (James 5:7-12)

Patience is a way of being present on our journey. It is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances. It is perseverance in the face of delay. It is being focused and staying on the task in adverse conditions, without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way. It is forbearance under strain, especially, when faced with long-term difficulties. It is self-discipline and self-control. Patience is the quality of being steadfast, firm and persevering in purpose.

Full of life and energy or tired and weary, let us choose to be faithful. Let us strive to be true to ourselves, to be authentic in all we say and do, to be men and women of integrity, to be steadfast in living our faith and in loving our God and giving ourselves generously to one another in love and service.

 

Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19

 

Jeremiah protested that he was too young to be a prophet. But he heard the voice of God saying to him, “to whomever I send, you shall go and whatever I put in your mouth, you shall speak”. So he responded to God’s call which required of him to, “gird up your loins, stand up and tell them” what God had revealed. God promised to be with him and make him a “pillar of iron and a wall of brass” against whom none would prevail.

 

Being empowered by God Jeremiah began his mission. He had a tough mission, “destroy and demolish…build and plant”. He spoke and begged his people to change, reform and turn to God’s ways….Jeremiah failed to reform his people. But he remained faithful to the mission God had given him. (Read the whole chapter to get good insight into this excerpt. These reflections take into consideration verses that are not included in the excerpt referenced above.)

 

God calls and he empowers us to respond and be faithful to his call through difficult times. Trust in God! Be strong! Be faithful!

 

Psalm 71

 

Psalm 71 is a lament of an old person whose afflictions are interpreted by enemies as a divine judgment. The first part of the Psalm pleads for help on the basis of a hope learned from a lifetime’s experience of God; the second part describes the menace and yet remains buoyant; the third develops the theme of hope and praise

 

In you, O Lord, I take refuge

Let me never be put to shame.

In your justice rescue me and deliver me;

Incline your ear to me and save me.

 

1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:13

 

Paul taught the Corinthians to let everything flow from love and to let everything flow into love…..everything a Christian says and does should emerge from love and converge on love! He insisted that love must govern their life, inspire mutual respect, kindness, compassion, tolerance, fellowship and everything that would maintain a sense of belongingness in community, cohesion in the body of Christ.

 

Paul insisted that love was not a feeling…but the quality of being Christian…it was the very essence of being Christian…. it was the character of the disciple of Jesus. He described what love is not and called the Corinthian community to be aware of their limitations and encouraged them to develop their character as loving people. (Read the whole chapter to get good insight into this excerpt. These reflections take into consideration verses that are not included in the excerpt referenced above.)

 

Let love govern your life! Let love define your character!

 

Luke 4:21-30

 

Last Sunday, we met Jesus in the Synagogue reading from the Scroll and proclaiming a time of healing, forgiveness, justice and liberation and he claimed that these words were being fulfilled in him. Some of the listeners of Jesus were moved with admiration. Others just couldn’t handle what they heard……. “We know him and his family”, they said. How could anyone expect the Prophesy of Isaiah to be fulfilled in a carpenter’s son? Jesus wasn’t what they expected and so he was rejected.

 

“Physician cure yourself….Do in your native place what you did in Capernaum…No prophet is accepted in his native place…” Jesus had a way of seeing beyond the obvious. They were afraid. Jesus had begun to reach beyond his home town, beyond the Jewish community to the non-Jewish world….and that was not expected…..forgiveness, justice, liberation, etc. are words too hard to digest! (Read the whole chapter to get good insight into this excerpt. These reflections take into consideration verses that are not included in the excerpt referenced above.)

 

Reach beyond the familiar and the comfortable….keep searching….remain open to know and discover more…look beyond…..let the mystery of life, of people, of the universe and of God unfold for you…

Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs