July 13, 2011

"I will be with you."

It amazes me sometimes how God lets me know when He is trying to get something across to me.  This morning, as I usually do before Mass, I was meditating on the scripture readings for the day.  In the first reading from Exodus (Ex. 3:1-6,9-12), God appears to Moses in the burning bush and tells Moses  to go to Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Moses protests saying, "Who am I that I should go...?" I was thinking, how many times in Scripture do we hear that argument, or one like it,  in response to the call of God?  I know Isaiah and Jerimiah both expressed it. So did Peter, and Paul, and many of the saints throughout our history. God calls the most unlikely people to do His work.; people who are too young, too old, cannot speak well, are afraid, don't feel up to the challenge, or simply don't want to or think they can't do what God is asking of them.

My meditation led me to reflect on my own faith journey and how God called me into ministry.  The first time I was called upon to give a talk for a retreat, I really felt frightened and anxious. While I was a teacher and had spoken in public before, this was different.  This was about my faith and I was being asked to call others to faith through the words I was speaking.  Before I was to speak, someone opened the Bible and read from Jeremiah (1:4-9)
"The word of the LORD came to me thus:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.
"Ah, Lord GOD!" I said,
"I know not how to speak; I am too young."
But the LORD answered me,
Say not, "I am too young."
To whomever I send you, you shall go;
whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Have no fear before them,
because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.
Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying,
See, I place my words in your mouth! "
Wow, did those words speak to me, and a whole new world was opened up. 

Mass began, and when it came to the homily it was about Moses reaction to God's call and how often we say to God, "Who am I that I should go...", or do, or say, or be something that is beyond what we ever thought possible. Father said that when God calls us, He gives us the Grace to see through to completion what He is asking of us.  I took this as a confirmation of my own meditation, but also as a reminder that I need to trust in God and be willing to answer His call, whenever that may come, and to do whatever God asks of me. 

The priest also made reference to the Gospel (Mt.11:25-27) and said that we have to have "childlike" trust. Somewhere in our "growing up" we tend to lose that trusting demeanor. Perhaps it is because the world is so untrustworthy that we carry that over to our faith life.  Perhaps the problems in the Church of late have caused people to lose trust. Yet, we have to remember that the Church is more than simply the people in it, that there is a Divine dimension to the Church that many overlook.  If we have faith in God, we must have trust that God will not lead His Church or us down the wrong path.

My meditation today, and the words of the homily, remind me to have childlike trust and be willing to believe that if God asks something of me it is because He knows that I will be able to do it with His Grace. I know that God will be with me, just as He promised Moses. God will give me what I need to carry it through. All I need to say is "Here I am."

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