Spiritual Reflection 1/15/23

The Call of God in Our Lives

       “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” The Psalmist in this Sundays’ Responsorial Psalm gets excited about the call of the Lord. He has experienced the presence of God and wants to serve the Lord. We often desire to feel the presence of God but less often do we get excited about serving the Lord. Our own needs and concerns seem to be so many that we forget the call to serve.

       Isaiah and Paul both recognize that they are servants of God, filled with the Spirit and ready to go forth and fulfill the mission God has entrusted to them. It takes the call of God first to recognize we are servants of the Lord, and He is calling each and every one of us to hear and respond.

       This Sunday’s Gospel continues the theme of being called and recognizing God’s call. It focuses on John the Baptist who is called to prepare a way for the Lord. When he encounters Jesus, he gets excited and proclaims that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. John goes even further and declares that Jesus is the very Son of God.

       Where are we being called? Where do we experience the presence of Jesus in the world today? How do we serve the Lord? These questions do not have easy answers because they require faith and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit to lead us. We need to take the time to pray fervently, and patiently wait in silence for the whispers of the Spirit of God within us. It might not be the call we want or expect, but God is faithful and will answer our prayer.

       How will we know it is the call of God? We will know it is the call of the Lord when we grow in confidence and clarity. We will recognize Him in the Body of Christ directing and guiding us. We will find consolation in the words of those around us and in the words of Scripture. We can discern the call of the Lord through constant affirmation when we go deep within and discover the peace that He will grant us.

       What if we are wrong? What if we answer a call that is not from the Lord but from other powers and influences in the world? We stop, pray, listen and start again. A Christian who is listening, praying and calling upon the Lord cannot fail in God’s eyes. We might stumble and get off the track, but the call of the Lord is strong and will bring us back if we just listen and pray.

       “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” These words of Scripture need to be proclaimed in our prayers throughout all the seasons of our lives. When we open our hearts to the grace of the Holy Spirit, He will give us peace in following the call to love and serve the Lord, as we journey home to our eternal reward with Him in Heaven.

May God love and bless you!
Sr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, IHM