by Sister Mary Kabat
I don’t usually reflect on the second reading for Sunday first. However, this Sunday, St. Paul’s words written to the people of Ephesus express what must have been in the mind and heart of the Prophet Amos whom we hear about in the first reading and the Apostles whom we hear about in the Gospel.
In that second reading St. Paul reminds us that we are blessed in Christ, chosen before the world was made, destined to be God’s adopted sons and daughters, redeemed in Jesus, lavished with his grace. If those words don’t make you stand taller, feel breathless or almost bring a tear, then read it again. It is a message of abundance, of unconditional love that can fill our hearts and guide our lives.
Living from that heartfelt knowledge Amos embraced the role of prophet which he never sought and the Apostles set aside their daily lives and occupations to respond to Jesus’ summons to go two by two to share the Good News.
Does this bring to mind times you have been called to accept a role, a responsibility, a challenge that you didn’t seek or didn’t think you had the gifts to do? By the grace of God did you embrace the call and take up the task or commitment? Is there a call you are now being asked to embrace that seems beyond what you have the strength or gifts to do? Read St. Paul’s words as you discern what God may be asking of you at this time of your faith journey and to whom he is sending you to share the Good News of Jesus.
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I can turn Paul's -- and Mary's -- words into a sure, strong daily affirmation of empowerment; a declaration of God's awesome, steadfast love for me that directs my life:
" ... I am blessed in Christ. I am beloved and be-dazzled, holy daughter-of-God. I am redeemed in Jesus. I am lavished in, by, with all goodness of holy grace. I am wise and insightful to searching and discerning the hidden mysteries of God's will, as this [God's will] is the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things, for the praise of God's glory."
"In Christ, I have heard the word of truth, the gospel of my salvation. I have believed in him. I have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. I am redeemed as God's possession, for the praise and glory of God." (Eph. 1:1-14, paraphrased)
Is there a call you are now being asked to embrace that seems beyond what you have the strength or gifts to do? Yes, but with the support, understanding, and conviction of other gifted & graced, holy & beloved, blessed & beautiful daughters/women of God, I will continue to venture forward.
Thank you, Mary, and all blessed, beloved, beautiful, holy women of God of St. Francis of the Holy Cross. It means a lot to me. Blessings, Linda
I have wondered why I have lived so long when my parents had not. I believe now it was to care for my husband with his memory loss. It is a challenge that is with me everyday. -- Irene