Who does God call us to be?
Isn’t that the million-dollar question. Most of us make things harder on ourselves than we need to, I know I do. I have been reflecting lately about how it is in my nature to want to force things to happen and to control everything, like I am playing a video game. I know this isn’t how God wants us to live. Sometimes I do get it right though. For example, right now I am halfway through my Theology degree, and people have been asking me what I will do when I finish. The whole time my answer has been, “I’m not sure, God hasn’t told me yet.” For some reason in this instance, I understand God has a plan for me, and that it is my job is to be patient and to listen for what that is. And while we need to be patient it doesn’t mean that we can sit idly by and do nothing while we wait.
In this week’s readings I believe we are receiving some important instruction from God. In the first reading we hear the things we need to do while waiting to hear from God, but why and what those actions accomplish. We are always called to care for those among us that have the least, that part seems obvious. “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house…”, (Isaiah 58:7). But why do we do this? Well for two reasons, one, because it is the merciful thing to do for the poor, and two, it is the merciful thing to do for us. We are healed by the help we share with others, and then we can fully receive God’s love. Yet, didn’t God create us, why do we need to do anything to receive His love? We don’t, we don’t need to prove ourselves worthy to God, but worthy to ourselves. We have put bushel baskets over our own lamps with our actions, and thoughts, and this puts distance between us and others, and more importantly between us and God. “Then your light will shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly…” (Isaiah 58:8). It’s the baskets over our lights that hurt us; and for this reason, we need to be healed. It is because of us this hurt that we don’t feel closer to God, and therefore we aren’t able to hear what he wants for us. In Matthews’ Gospel account God shares that He has put us on this earth to be a light to each other. “In the same way, let your light shine before human beings, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). When others see our light, they are shown the way to God. We need to see other’s lights, especially when our lights are darkened. When our lights are dimmed so is the essence of who we are. God created us exactly the way he wants us to be, by denying this truth that we move away from God, and the person He wants us to be. “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?” (Matthew 5:13). We are the salt because God made us so. If we lose our saltiness, we are not being true to ourselves, to our community, or to God.
We are who we are meant to be, and as soon as we try to control that, we are in trouble. It is when we serve, let our lights shine, and inspire others to do the same, that we will be ready to hear from God. And so, who does God call us to be? Exactly the person he created; we just need to follow his instructions, take the baskets off our lamps and wait to hear what he wants us to do.
By Serena Shaw
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate
Phone: (780) 231-3066