28 April, Friday — Showing up

Friday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Acts 9:1-20
Jn 6:52-59

“Here I am, Lord”.

What does it take for someone to change his/her life totally and to offer it up to God as a sacrifice? In the course of serving in various retreats over the past 12-odd years and hearing many, many testimonies, there is one recurring theme – a personal encounter with the Lord. I have shared my conversion story before through this very special online ministry and as we continue to recruit new contributors, I am simply amazed at how those we have approached have readily offered their time and talents.

Just last month, a new appointment landed in my lap – one that I had not expected and certainly had not given anyone in my family, nor my various ministry core teams, a heads-up on. Now that I have said ‘Yes’, I am wondering how He will be using me in this new ministry and if what I have always hoped to do with our young adults and youth will come true. I have learned, over the years, that while I can do some form of planning, I should just remain open to His promptings and to just be as available as possible for Him. It’s funny how I used to marvel and wonder at others who had so much energy and time to give to God. I have now been asked the same question I used to pose to others, “Where do you find the time?”

And this draws me back to the gospel reading and, in particular, the line ‘He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in him’. We sang the very hymn a fortnight ago at a wedding mass – I Am The Bread Of Life. I cannot help but think that if we don’t turn up for mass and receive the Eucharist, our turning up outside of church to do what He wants of us is going to certainly drain and disillusion us. We have heard many accounts of people in ministry being this and that and not having the fervour or heart and simply ‘going through the motions’. Even worse, leaders who lord over others and expect unquestioning obedience, simply because they are put in positions of authority.

Brothers and sisters, when we are called to show up and give of ourselves to God, what do we present or put forth that will truly glorify Him? Are we shining lights, or do we seek to outshine and, in the process, ‘darken’ all those around us? Do we nourish and nurture, or do we demolish and put down? Are we there to serve, or do we desire to be served? When we say, “Here I am, Lord”, are we truly prepared to hold his people in our hearts and therefore, open our own hearts to embrace the faults and idiosyncrasies of all those whom we encounter – i.e. those whom He puts in our paths?

Jesus encountered all manner of people and was even betrayed by one of his inner circle. Yet, he forgave out of divine love for all of us. As we journey with others and toil in His vineyard with them, how many times have we been judgemental, overly critical and dismissive of others? Remember that they too have said ‘Here I am, Lord’…

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Lord, we pray that you guide us on the right paths as we offer ourselves in service to your causes. Help us to discern the right paths and to be humble and loving to others whom you put with us.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for all those who you bring to us and whom you bring us to on our journeys.


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