Sunday, March 30, 2014

Called to Serve the Lord

Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent 2014:

Fourth Sunday of Lent 2014

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
March 30, 2014

Many of us have experienced being left out because we are too small for the game, too young for something we want to do, to inexperienced for a job. I remember being told I was too old for the fire department, I think this was the first time I was told I was too old for something, I was maybe in my early 30s.

Sometimes, the best people for a task are those without a lot of letters behind their name. When Samuel comes to seek out the Lord's chosen one in order to anoint him as king, Jesse does not even include his youngest son, David, who was left out, for he was out in the fields tending the sheep. Nevertheless he is chosen by God, and anointed by Samuel, to be king of Israel.

Every disciple of Jesus has been given a place in the saving works of the Church. In every age of life, we are called to serve the Lord. The anointing of Baptism confirms the Grace of God in us, supporting us and our destiny as servants of the Gospel. Discipleship is expensive: we have to lay down our lives for Christ in order to bring life to others.

First, we need our eyes be opened. Christ, the Light of the world, opens the eyes of the man born blind, allowing him to experience life in a new and dramatic way with the restoration of his sight. There's another kind of blindness, blindness of the spiritual life, that plagues the Pharisees. Even those of us who think we are good Christians can be limited and our perception of God's presence.

We continually need to be opened to see where God is present in our daily experiences, and how we can Love Him while serving the needs of others. We need God to open our understanding of morality where we sometimes want to rationalize our actions, or pretend that the teachings of Christ does not applied to modern humanity. This takes humility and openness to change with the movement of God's Grace. When the Light of Christ penetrates our stubbornness and selfishness, it illumines our minds and hearts to see clearly the way to our best selves: by following God in intimate communion.

Jesus delivered humanity from the clutches of darkness by his death and rising. Through the Sacraments, we experience the power of this great mystery at work in our lives. In the Lord, and through our baptism, we are in the Light. We are called, as Paul says, to abandon the works of darkness, exposing them for the lies that they are.

Fellow Christians, live in Light always, do not succumb to the dark forces that are beneath our Christian dignity!

Once we experienced the Light of Christ by humbling ourselves under the power of his Word, that Light makes us a beacon of hope for others. The Light of Christ shines in the words and actions-- even the prayerful thoughts-of his disciples. People can see that we live differently because we have hope in Christ' Light and saving Love. Others may even ask us why we are hopeful in sorrow, why we have certain moral standards, why are we kind in the face of insult. Then, we can be prepared to tell them: we have found Christ, we live in the Light!

Open the eyes of our hearts to see the Lord more clearly, perceiving His will for us. Allow, His Light to penetrate and transform any traces of darkness that remains in us. Be prepared for that Light, to change you into a beacon of Light that gives glory to the Lord!

So, you all be Good, be Holy, preached the Gospel always and if necessary use words.

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