Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chosen to Serve

     To be chosen to do something special is an honor.  By rite of Baptism, we have been chosen by the Lord God to be his heirs, to be brothers and sisters with Christ Jesus.  As children of God, we have been chosen, elected, set apart, given a special blessing…and are sent out into the world to serve. 
     We’re all given different gifts and talents which the Lord intends for us to use in order to help others and bring others closer to Him.  We don’t have to ask whether or not we are among those selected for the Creator to work in and through if we have embraced the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as the triune God above everyone and everything in creation.  If we have accepted who God is, then we know we are among His children.  If we are one of God’s kids, then we’ve been chosen specially to work for Him. 
     Therefore the question for believers isn’t so much “am I chosen,” but instead, “how am I, as one of God’s chosen, to live out my responsibility to serve Him.”  I have found this to be one of the questions that is pertinent to ask throughout our lives as part of our ongoing discernment of God’s will for us. 
     Sometimes we seem to know very clearly whom and how the Lord would like us to serve.  Then it is up to us how we respond.  Will we accept the call and carry out the work that is needed in order to love others and bring them closer to God? 
     You’re already on the team, part of the family, included in the clan.  Now, what are you going to do about it?  Will you make the body of Christ stronger by using your time, talents, and treasure as God has asked or will you squander those three gifts in pursuit of your own pleasure, pride, and popularity? 
     At the Last Supper, Jesus knelt down and washed the filthy dirty feet of his disciples.  He then blessed the bread and wine, saying that it would become His Body and Blood for them to eat and drink, broke it and shared it.  Jesus was sent here to show us how we are to serve the Lord and one another.  We are to give all that we are and all that we have to God and in service to each other.  We are not to hold back what the Lord has given us.  When we do, we’re acting out of selfishness, arrogance, and/or fear. 
     Part of our job is to help others see that they have also been chosen to serve by rite of their Baptism.  Often the best way to help others recognize their own call to serve is by living out the vocations we have whether they include: remaining single, getting married, having children, or becoming a consecrated religious.  God will sanctify us and make us holy through our service to others.  Whether we lector at Mass, serve as Eucharistic ministers, visit the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, pray to end abortion, provide shelter for the homeless, offer encouragement and support to those who are sick, hold retreats for the imprisoned, serve as Catechists, educate others about the tenets of the Catholic faith…we are called to do our best to live out the vocations to which we’ve been led by allowing God to work in and through us however He wishes.   
     There is a priest in our diocese who sums up very well what it means to be “chosen to serve.”  As soon as you walk in his parish, he greets you warmly, often by name, then he often gives you a job to do.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived for daily Mass, and he says to me or another regular he knows well, “thanks for doing the Readings today.”  It’s not a question.  It’s a statement of gratitude, because, of course, you’re willing to help this priest and serve the faith community however is necessary. 
     Some people might be put off by being told what needs to be done, but really, it’s a gift when we see a need and are able to fill it.  We’ve been chosen to serve, so we need to be open to doing that at all times just like Jesus was.

Note: This reflection on the theme of the Cursillo Women's Weekend taking place at Shalom House Thursday-Sunday, October 18-21, 2012, written in honor of all of the participants, first appeared in the October Issue of The Rooster Review.
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