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At St. Patrick’s this morning our visiting seminarian Massimo gave the reflection on Luke’s gospel. Massimo has been a wonderful gift to the parish and he will be leaving us to return home to Malta at the end of July. Our loss is Malta’s gain to be sure. Enjoy his reflection as he reminds us of the need to be open to God’s call in our lives.

Follow JesusWhen the people of Israel were suffering as slaves in Egypt, God chose Moses. Although Moses was not a good public speaker, God ordered him to go to the Pharaoh in Egypt and to ask for the freedom of the chosen people and to lead them to the Promised Land.

When the Israelites had lost all hope and as they were besieged and outnumbered by the Assyrians, God chose a widow by the name of Judith to confuse all the plans of the Assyrians and to save his people from the hands of the enemy.

Through the apostles, most of them humble persons who clearly lacked knowledge, God wanted to build the Church, the Mystical Body of his Son Jesus Christ, to be a sign of his love to humanity.

In recent times he chose people like Blessed Pope John Paul II, Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, and St Gianna Beretta Molla amongst others so that through them He may continue to show his presence in the world.

Throughout history God continues to call man so that with him and through him He continues to leave his mark in the history of humanity.

This is the message that Jesus wants to give us today as we read the text from the Gospel according to Saint Luke. Today’s gospel presents us with different models of how the disciple, a follower of Jesus, answers to the call of God. We find some who express unconditional willingness to follow Jesus. Others find it more difficult to respond positively to the call of Jesus as in their eyes, they see in the call like a dark tunnel which leads to nowhere and therefore they bring up conditions and excuses to try to avoid the way that the Lord is asking them to follow.

God wants to bring out the best and the most beautiful things out of every individual through the call the Lord makes to each one of us. Have you ever thought that you are unique persons, that never has there been someone like you and that never will there be someone like you? Man is not like a wave in the sea that comes forward, takes a form and then destroys itself when hitting the shore. Each individual has a name, and God knows each and every one of us by name. 

Do you think that it is a coincidence that God gave you a life filled with particular talents? Do you see it as a coincidence that you were born in your particular family and not in another one; that you were born in this century and not in another?

There is a special place for each one of us, a place that no one can fill in our absence. There is a special and unique flower that needs to come out of each one of us.

God trusts us and he wants us to do our part so that with him and through our life we would be able to create what is good. That is what Saint Paul tells the Galatian community and is telling us today when he says: “Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ has set us free … only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence but through love become slaves to one another”.

This love which Paul is speaking about in his letter can be seen in the vocation to the married life. This is what makes marriage as a sacrament different, since through the sacrament of marriage the man and the woman enter not only in a physical bond but also in a spiritual one that unites them forever. They are called to give themselves to one another not only in good times but also in the difficult moments that the couple can face in life. The sacrament of marriage brings in the life of the couple the eternal bond that exists between Christ and his Church. It is then, through this love, through this giving of themselves that the couple can cooperate with God in his plan of creation.

Marriage is an institution that is still promoted in our times. But it is difficult to see the call to the consecrated life or the life of the priesthood being promoted by the world today. And therefore it asks for more courage from the individual to take this step forward and follow the call of Jesus. But the vocation to the priesthood and to the consecrated life, like marriage, is a call in which one has to be able to offer one’s life to the service of others particularly to the children of God one is entrusted with.

But in order to understand better and to be able to follow our call we need to stop and find a place away from the noises that the world presents us with and in a spirit of prayer we try to build a relation with the One who created us and knows us by name. If we look at nature and the way things grow, we must agree that they grow in silence. If we look at the trees, the flowers, they grow in silence. If we look at the human person even in the womb, he grows in silence. And even this relationship, and our vocation, they grow in a silence where one’s inner ears are open to the voice of God who only speaks in silence.

The Church presents us the Virgin Mary as a model of the true disciple. Mary is the woman who was able to listen to the call of God, who trusted and had blind faith in God in a way that the Lord could create wonders with her and through her. And the Lord God wants to do with each and every one of us what He did with Mary. Let us look at the Virgin Mary as a model of how we are called to live our life, let us imitate her and try hard to accept our call, and to live this call every day through the offer of our lives.

Let us allow the last words which Mary utters in the Gospel during the wedding at Cana; Do whatever he asks of you”, to echo in our life. This is the call for each and every one of us but today I direct this call more to us youths. Let us look at Mary who was able to accept her call at a young age as our model and let us feel no fear in accepting the Lord in our life.

Allow me to repeat the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II to the youths; “Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to open wide the doors of your heart to God and to welcome Jesus in your life and to accept his will of serving humanity”.

Let us be open to God’s call in our life so that with the psalmist we would be able to say “You show me the path of life, O Lord. In your presence there is fullness of joy”. And nothing is sweeter than finding this joy when we accept the will of God and allow our hearts to beat with His.

One Response to “Be open to God’s call- Reflection from Massimo”

  1. Olivia says:

    This is an outstanding homily. The last line really resonates with me: “And nothing is sweeter than finding this joy when we accept the will of God and allow our hearts to beat with His.” How very true this is.
    Massimo has been an incredible gift to St. Patrick’s this past year and he will be greatly missed but we have been blessed to have him with us for even a short time.