Called To Inspire!
I don’t know about you, but in the last month I have been feeling somewhat overwhelmed by difficulties we are facing in the Catholic Church and the division we find ourselves faced with within our nation. All you have to do is hear the daily news cycle and you realize that, on both fronts, we are facing critical issues that beg for resolution. On a personal level, I have struggled with all of this; and maybe you have too. Do I get stuck in the quagmire of despair and hopelessness or choose an entirely different path? I have chosen to be filled with hope! I caution you in thinking that my response is naïve in any way. It is, instead, a very common response I believe of many of those who give their life over to Christ and live in the belief of the resurrected Lord. I am hoping right now that many of you reading this are nodding your head to affirm what you just read. Disciples know that goodness and light will always have the last word; and even though it may be difficult to see the divine plan in the midst of all the chaos, it is truly unfolding and at work before our very eyes. In spite of everything we face, do you hear that voice at your deepest core – maybe faintly at times – but consistently saying God has got this?!
As I contemplate all these things, I can’t help but remember the words of St. Paul to the Philippians: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” Paul wanted to replace the despair the Philippians were feeling in light of his imprisonment and threat of his death with encouragement and hope. He knew that human beings are easily distracted by the happenings of this world they often lose their focus and need others that will aid them in fixing their gaze once more upon the Lord.
As God’s people are once again fixed upon him, St. Paul reminds them that they are not to just sit ideally by but are called do “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received.” St. Paul is speaking those words to us today. He is saying to all of Christ’s followers in this time, place and circumstance to answer the call to a common purpose and mission – to encourage and inspire! I don’t know about you, but I believe each and every one of us have the ability through the grace of God to be a beacon of light and to breathe new life in to situations that have the potential to crush our spirit. Just as the apostles who were sent out some 2,000 years ago to call people to a fuller life, we, too, are sent out every day into our communities, places of work, schools and parishes to inspire so that others may aspire to fuller way of life – a life that will bring lasting joy and contentment. It is not always easy to live what we believe. G.K. Chesterton tells us, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” Let us pray for the strength to face the difficulties that may confront us as we take up the challenge to live a Christ-centered life and fulfill our desire to inspire those who may doubt the value and hope found inChristian life.