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Pastor’s Corner 2.4.2024

What Have I Been Called to Do?

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We have some interesting, but quite different readings presented to us this weekend. The Gospel speaks of Jesus’ ministry of preaching the Good News, of curing the sick and of casting out demons. It is for the purpose of preaching and healing (physical and spiritual) that Jesus came. His ultimate healing came when he healed us from the deathblow of sin by dying on the cross for our salvation.

In the first reading we hear a lament from the Book of Job. It is a litany of all the woes that have befallen Job. He was a devoted believer in God, but the devil tries to get Job to turn away from God by bringing enormous trials upon him. Job questions why all this is happening to him, but he never turns away from God. He remains faithful despite the trials.

St. Paul in the second reading says he has made himself a slave to all, so as to win over as many souls for the Gospel as possible. He pours out his life in service by preaching and teaching the Good News revealed in Jesus. Paul, like Job, went through many hardships but did not lose faith. Despite being stoned, ridiculed, and imprisoned, Paul never shied away from preaching the Gospel because he knew how essential it was for salvation.

The readings invite us to ask ourselves, “What have I been called to do?” “What is the Lord asking of me?” How do I respond when I face hardships, tragedies, or setbacks, especially when they come because of my faith or when they challenge my faith?

As a priest, I am saddened when I do a funeral for a committed life-long Catholic; one who has been faithful to the Church and lived a good and holy life, but their children and most of their family who attend the funeral no longer practice the faith. They did not persevere in the faith that was handed down to them. Maybe they came to see faith as unnecessary. How tragic! I fear many will be lost if something doesn’t change.

God calls us in various ways, but if you are the Catholic parent of a young child, one thing God is calling you to do is to commit fully to forming your children in the faith; to share your experience of Jesus with them. So, it is vital that you have a fruitful and intimate relationship with Jesus yourself. You cannot pass on what you don’t have. Job, Paul, and Jesus saw how essential it was to have a living faith. Everything depends on it.

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,