Responding to God, Part 2
Last week in the bulletin I spoke a bit about the call of God and responding to it. I mentioned how some seminarians were looking for a clear call from God, but how unusual that sort of call is. More often, God’s call is more subtle and we have to discern the call, usually with the help and guidance of others.
In today’s first reading Jonah is called to go to Nineveh and call them to conversion. Initially Jonah attempted to run from this call because the Ninevites were the hated enemy of Israel. Since Jonah didn’t want to see the Ninevites change, he ran from the call. Yet, God pursued Jonah and eventually God won out.
Sometimes we want to run from God’s call, especially when that call challenges our way of thinking and our comfortable lifestyle. Becoming a priest certainly isn’t the usual lifestyle. We priests live with those we are assigned to, not those we choose to live with, and we move from place to place on our own. We work weekends and are often called to do things we were not trained to do or feel inadequate to perform. But, through the grace of God, through support of others and with the assistance of prayers, we priests happily serve the Catholic community.
In our Gospel today we hear Jesus calling his first disciples, who were fishermen, and “they abandoned their nets and followed him.” These disciples responded immediately to Jesus’ call. When Jesus calls, are we quick to respond like these disciples? It isn’t always easy to recognize the call of Jesus, but sometimes we have a strong feeling that God is asking us to do something or not do something. Do we follow that feeling?
God calls each of us into a personal relationship with Him. The call may be loud and clear, or subtle and soft. We may feel like running like Jonah or be immediately responsive like the disciples in today’s Gospel. Our task is to be attentive, open and ready to respond.