January 19th: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Parish Family,
When you were baptized, the promises that were made started a relationship where God is your Lord, and you are His servant. We hear several different examples of this servant-Lord relationship in today’s Scriptures.
Isaiah was called to serve the Lord as His prophet. Among all the Old Testament prophets who proclaimed the coming of God’s justice, Isaiah had a unique place. His calling was to prepare for the coming of a Messiah who offers loving mercy that knows no bounds and that would “reach to the ends of the earth.” Although none of us has been called to be a prophet like Isaiah, there is something in his vocation that ought to be mirrored in our own vocations: namely, loving mercy that knows no bounds. Paul was called to serve the Lord as His apostle. His profound self-introduction focuses upon his calling as an apostle, which literally means “one who is sent.” Paul was sent by the will of God to spread the Messiah’s Gospel to the Gentiles, the very people that Isaiah had served by preparing them for the Messiah. Although none of us has been called to be an apostle like Paul, there is something in his vocation that ought to be mirrored in our own vocations: namely, serving as “one who is sent.” That Messiah whose coming Isaiah proclaimed, and whom Paul was sent forth to preach about, is of course Jesus, like Isaiah and Paul, called by God to serve. Yet Jesus is not only an example for us, as are Isaiah and Paul. “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.” Although the word I appears twice in this single verse, it’s not the focus of the verse. The focus is God’s Providential Will and one’s submission to it: that is, one’s willingness to be His servant.
Most of us, when we pray, actually speak to God as if He’s our servant: in effect saying, “Here I am, Lord; now come and do my will.” One of the chief ways that Christians experience God’s Providential Will is unanswered prayers. In fact, these are often God’s gifts to us, whether we acknowledge them as such or not. Tragically, some Christians stop following Jesus because their prayers aren’t answered as they want. But silence on God’s part can be His way of demanding patience and perseverance. This silence clarifies what’s important to God for the unfolding of His Providential Will. Yet, whether in accepting God’s silence or in moving forward to carry out His Will, we need to recognize a distinction. Not only are we to imitate Jesus in His example of doing His Father’s Will in all things. As Christians, we are meant to live in Christ. This is not something that we can accomplish through human effort or good works. Only God can accomplish this. His chief means for doing so are the Sacraments and grace given within personal prayer. For our part, we need to work at disposing ourselves for reception of these divine gifts. God’s gifts allow Christ to live in us, and allow Christ to say through us: “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.” (hprweb.com)
Our group going to the March for Life in Washington, DC will be leaving January 23 and returning (after an all night drive) on January 26. Please keep them in your prayers.
God bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG