Do you have a cell phone? Does your cell phone tell you who it is that is trying to call you? Do you usually check that caller ID and decide, based on who it is, whether to answer the phone or not?
“Answer”, “Ignore” or “Send to voicemail”?
I do! In all honesty, when someone at my school says to me, “You have a call on line one,” I almost always ask, “Who is it?” Then, I decide if the person is worthy of my time, if I am prepared to talk to that person, if I don’t like that person or if it is conversation I would prefer to have later. I am sure the same thing happens to me when I call others as well. I am not offended , trust me, I am a high school principal. Try calling a parent in the middle of the day.
I love caller ID. When I know who is calling, I know how I am going to react. I am going to pickup the phone if it is my mom or wife because I want to make sure they are OK. I am going to pick up my calendar if it is my Pastor because he probably has something for me to do. I am not going to always pick up the phone if it is my best friend because, we will talk forever and I got to make sure I have time to sit and chat. I am not going to pick up the phone at all if I am driving because that is dangerous and I am not trying to kill anyone. Like many of you, I make these discernments each time my phone rings. And that it OK.
If it is God, pick up and answer!
But, when it comes to Christ, when it comes to God, you can’t hit the “ignore” button but so many times; Can I get an amen? I shouldn’t say to God,” I will call you back later.” You shouldn’t say to God, “Not now I am busy.” We shouldn’t say to God, “I have something more important to do.” You can’t say to God, “This isn’t a good time, go talk to someone else and get back to me later.” You can’t put God into your voicemail but so many times. When God calls, you must pick up the phone and answer. And unlike your mother, pastor, wife or best friend, don’t simply say “Hello.” Answer God’s call by saying, “Here I am Lord, what do you want me to do!”
Are you sure you have the right number?
Brother and sisters, I know at least for me, I have put God on hold many times in my life. I hit the ignore button, turned on my voice mail and took a message. And he kept calling. I tried my best to not be a deacon but God kept calling and I kept saying, “You must have the wrong number.” God said, “Follow me” and I said, but I don’t have the time. I said to myself, “Most Deacon’s are retired, I still have to work” (Which isn’t true by-the-way, but that was my excuse at the time). God said, “I gave you that job that keeps you so busy, want to keep it?” I said “God, I have not studied religion since high school, and I wasn’t all that great at it.” God said, “I am the perfect teacher, I can teach anyone, including you.” I even said “God, I am really not sure I am worthy.” And God said, “I know; That is why the Holy Spirit will be heavily involved in this endeavor.” Like the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, with me, God knew whom he was calling. Sometimes, we think God doesn’t know what he is doing don’t we? God’s doesn’t ask for a resume because he already knows our qualifications. This is important because we often ignore God’s call not out of spite for Our Lord but rather lack of confidence in the graces he has given us. You see, God is not asking us to change who we are, he is asking us to take the talents that he built into us and use them for the Kingdom of God.
I knew you before you were formed in the womb
I often meditate upon the reason why God chose fisherman to be the first disciples, the first Bishops of the flock. Maybe because fishing was a dangerous profession and he needed men who would not be frightened easily. Maybe it was because fisherman had to be patient and building the Kingdom of God requires among many things patience. Perhaps it was because fisherman had to be able to read subtle changes in the weather and water conditions in order to fill their nets and those same skills were needed in leading the early Christian community. Perhaps it was because fisherman rarely worked alone and they had a sense of community that he wanted in his Church on Earth. Maybe it was all of the above and maybe it was a set of qualities that I have yet to understand. But he never said to them, “Stop being fisherman.” Rather, I will take those skills I gave you and make yourselves “Fishers of men.”
Brothers and sisters, when God calls us, he knows what he is doing and he knows whom he is calling. When you answer God’s call, you will never hear God say, “Sorry, I dialed the wrong number!” I heard a priest say once, “God never calls the qualified but qualifies everyone he calls.”
Each of us has a talent or a gift that God wants us to use to build his Kingdom. God is calling us to use that talent. For some of us, you are being called to lector, join the choir, be a minister of holy communion, join the St. Vincent de Paul Society become active in any number of ministries we have in an average parish. Your phone is ringing, answer the call, it’s God! Some of you are called to be priests, deacons, religious sisters or brothers. Don’t send God to your voice mail, answer and say, “Here I am Lord.” Some of you are called to be married and to be parents, maybe even adoptive parents, God is calling, don’t text him back saying, “I am busy.”
Brothers and sisters, God is calling and when we answer yes, he doesn’t promise that our life will be easy. But, he promises that our life will be fulfilled. In your prayer life, God is calling; Through your friends, God is calling; Through the voices of your family, God is calling. Perhaps even through this blog post, God is calling. Answer the phone and say, “Here I am Lord. What do you want me to do?” Happy Easter!