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"Grant us by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit…"

May 15, 2018

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Father David's Reflection for Wednesday of Week Fifteen (Ordinary Time)

An enlightening comment on the Lord’s choice of Moses is in the Responsorial (Psalm 103): “The Lord is kind

and merciful.” It should help us to accept our own call to minister.

 

In Exodus 3: 1-12 God appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush. “And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”

 

Moses had a special reason to be afraid. He was out there in the desert because he had murdered an Egyptian (Exodus 2: 11-15). Nevertheless, God chose him to be the one through whom God would deliver his people. And on this same mountain (Horeb, also called Sinai) God would later give his Commandments and make his covenant with the people through Moses. Do we need more encouragement to believe that, in spite of all our inadequacies and sins, God will work through us as his ministers? When we feel doubt our response should be, “The Lord is kind and merciful.”

 

Matthew 11: 25-27 teaches us not to assume that education and talents, natural or developed, are most important for ministry. God uses all the gifts and talents he has given us, and he certainly wants us to develop them as much as we can by our human efforts. The Church takes education seriously and urges special training for all who are in official ministries sponsored by the Church (except bishops). But we should never think that effectiveness in ministry depends on or is guaranteed by training. Jesus made this clear: “Father… you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants…. No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” It all comes from God.

 

St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, echoed these words in the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus: “For the preservation and growth… of the Society, and for the attainment of its end… those means which unite the instrument to God and dispose him to be guided by his divine hand are more effective than those which accredit the minister to people.” The Jesuits are known as highly trained intellectuals and educators. But it is not their training they rely on: it is their “intimacy with God” fostered by a spiritual life. This is axiomatic for all who minister as Christians.[1]

 

Christian ministry is not limited to that tiny fraction of ministries that are done officially in the name of the Church.  Most ministry takes place in family and social life, in business and politics. This is where we need union with God. The words of Eucharistic Prayer I, “We your people and your ministers recall his passion....” include all who are consecrated by Baptism as prophets, priests and stewards of his Kingship. We all thank him in Eucharistic Prayer II “for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you.”

 

Initiative: Be a priest. Seek union with God through prayer and deliberate remembrance of his presence all day long.

 

 

 

[1] Constitutiones Societatis Jesu, X, 2 and Regulae Sociertatis Jesu, “Regulae Sacerdotum,” 12..

 

 

 

 

 

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