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Called by Name

Homily for Tuesday of the 23rd Week in OrdinaryTime

In today’s readings we hear Paul’s words to the Corinthians about injustice, judgment, and belonging to the Kingdom of God. In the responsorial psalm, we are reminded that God takes great delight in creation, in us. In the Alleluia, we are told to bear fruit that will last, to do work that will bring about the Kingdom. Finally, the Gospel today is Jesus choosing his closest companions. He calls them by name to something greater, to walk alongside him, and to do the work of God.

Injustice and judgment have definitely been more on our minds in these present days than the notion of belonging to God’s kingdom. At times like these, and there have been several in the long history of the Church, it is important for us to remember that God does take delight in us, that we have each, like the apostles, been called by name to bear fruit that will last.

I imagine that the Twelve were on cloud nine when Jesus called each of them to be a member of his inner circle. Think of what you were feeling when you were called by God to the consecrated life or to married life. I am sure that all of us felt enormously happy on the day of our profession or our marriage. However, after that intense experience comes the hard work of living a Christian life, of making our Gospel values a visible, tangible reality.

When Paul formed the Christian community of Corinth, I am sure the first days and weeks were full of towering emotions. Then Paul moved on to another community, and the Christians of Corinth began to see that it was difficult to maintain their Christian ideals. In our consecrated life, I daresay there have been times when we wonder if this is really the path we were meant to take. The doubts may be fleeting, but you would be truly extraordinary if there were no difficult days. The same is true, I am sure, of married life. As the song title goes, Life is not a bowl of cherries.

It is at times like these that we have to stop and remember. God called each of us by name! God chose us, we didn’t choose God. God has promised us eternal life if we continue on this path. God does not forsake anyone who clings to that promise.

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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