Audio Available!

Audio Available!
Be sure to check out in each blog post the links to the audio recordings of my homilies. They are at the beginning of each post! Also, look to the right for links to Audio from other good resources!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Call - it's all about you and not at all

Audio(Sat. Eve):

Your vocation matters to you and to so many others.  The call of God for your life means your happiness.  But it also means the greater happiness of all the lives you are meant to touch.
Have you ever heard of yourself described as a fish before?  I've only seen it once in the Bible, when after Jesus' resurrection he calls from the shore and they catch 153 fish and they realize it is Christ.  Some scholars have said the number 153 represents all the world as they knew it at that time, every nation.
But when I was in Malta I heard a little teaching from their only saint, Fr. George Preca, who more or less called us fish when he talked about how We often forget that our life is so covered in God like a fish is in water.  We are literally swimming in God in this life, if we have eyes to see it, and can't live outside of Him, says Fr. George.
Simon and Andrew are fishermen, but they themselves are the little fishies that get are swimming around with little purpose and end up caught today - caught for good.  They are there "throwing nets into the sea," hoping for a catch, relying on it for their food and shelter.  But if we take it spiritually, I think we can find a symbol of our wandering hearts hoping for something to catch us. Sea for the Jews was the perfect image for the chaos of our unpredictable world. So these two men, like all of us, are seeing what they can get out of life, sort of waiting around mindlessly for something good to happen.  Imagine that look people get at the casino or in front of their phones or televisions, or other ways that we all "waste time."  It's kind of funny that we call it so clearly for what it is, but don't treat it that way.  Usually we use nice cushioned phrases to describe things we shouldn't be doing, so that we can feel better about it, but this is one of the opposite cases: "wasting time" is right - we are squandering opportunities to do something good, something that builds up ourselves or other people, something that prepares us for our future.
The second set of brothers are found "mending their nets" - maybe we find ourselves at times trying to heal ourselves and get ready for next round of searching, placing our bets for where our happiness will be found.
So these guys are searching for a reason to live!  They want a purpose-driven life.  They want a mission.
Speaking of fish, let's look at Jonah for a second.  You know he gets swallowed whole but doctor remember why? Because he ran away from God's call.  It was as if God said go preach to Chicago and he got on a train for Florida.  So eventually Jonah gets the point and goes to Nineveh like he was supposed to and is surprised at what God does with it: the scoundrel pagans actually repent very sincerely!  So there's the point: your vocation matters to others as much as it does to you. Without Jonah, Nineveh was toast.  They needed him.  God "needed" him in a way, a lot like Jesus needed those four fishermen - without whom the history of the world might be very very different.
So for us: God has a plan, a mission, a purpose that every single one of us alone can fulfill: our vocation.  And when he calls, we must leave everything behind to become that disciple.
Lastly, it's not only the apostles or bishops or priests or religious who are called to be fishers of men: every one of us is called to be.  When Jesus gets hold of our wandering hearts and gives us something to live for, it's not so we can keep it all to ourselves - we have to share it.  To use that old dating advice, There's a lot more fish in the sea, and we are called to wake them up and help thm find the real meaning of life: a relatively bishop with th living God, following after the Lord Jesus. Amen.

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