The readings today invite us to our calling. Amos was an ordinary, young shepherd boy tending sycamore figs and herding the flock on a farm when he was called to be a prophet. It is in our pain and dissatisfaction that we hear the call.
We are all called to some vocation in life, called daily if we are open to hear the call and respond. Our first calling was Baptism, when we were called by name. We are products of an unconditional Lover. At Baptism our Parents responded with love in our name but now we are asked to respond ourselves with love to all whom we meet throughout our daily goings and comings, as the young Amos did. The mystery of sin is not to hear the call or respond to the choice.
In Psalm 84 the psalmist hears the call of Yahweh and responds with mercy and faith, peace and justice. What a beautiful response to any call.
St Paul tells us that we were chosen from the beginning, as unique and special, to live a life of love by responding to all who call us for help along the way of our daily routines. It is a simple call but ever so difficult to respond to as we are prone to selfishness and only thinking about ourselves and happy in our comfort zones.
Not only are we all called to give a fitting response to God but in the Gospel we are being sent to share our belief and our faith with others. Go stand in the Temple and tell people about the new life (Acts 5:20) This is the mission of being sent to everyone to proclaim, shout out, and notify the people of the challenge within the message of the gospel that we are loved unconditionally by God so that they can respond and declare it publicly.
Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to all we encounter daily, be they neighbours, sisters in community or complete strangers. The apostles went ahead of Jesus, without baggage, sharing his mission. They believed that what they were proclaiming was making God’s love visible and present in our world.
The Bible was born in community and so the message of Jesus is shared in community. The apostles were sent out in pairs ahead of Jesus so that the message will not be from one person only but an expression of a group united in one mission. Jesus was an educator. He not only teaches his followers, he has them share in his mission. The disciples must be people who will put into practice what they have learned from Jesus, proclaiming their faith and performing acts of healing as Jesus does.
There is a call to repentance at the end of today’s Gospel. The Greek word metanoia, usually translated as repentance, literally means going beyond the ego into the Larger Self which is a call for change, for transformation which is a life-long journey. I need to forgive myself first, then others. Only then will Divine Energy flow as I move along on my journey into God.
- How have I answered the call to change my behaviour which annoys people with whom I live?
- When was my last call to repentance and how did I respond?
Sr Dymnpa Travers O.P.