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God's Call

Today I want to look at God’s call and the different callings that people have received from God. So my topic is God’s call.


One day, in early February, in the year 627 BC, Jeremiah was walking through a field when he noticed blossoms on the almond trees. He decided to pick some blossoms and take them home to his mother. While he was picking the blossoms, he heard the voice of God saying, “Before you were born, I consecrated you. Yes, Jeremiah, I consecrated you to be a prophet.” Jeremiah replied, “Not me, Lord. I can’t do it. I’m only a teenager.”


Then God said, “I consecrated you for this mission and you will do very well.” “I don’t think so.” Jeremiah said. “I’m only a teenager. I’m not clever enough to win arguments with the rulers of our nation and the rulers of other nations.” “You will do just fine.” God said. “I will be with you and watching over you. Just remember that I spoke to you by the almond tree. The almond tree is sometimes called the “watching tree.” That should remind you that I will always be watching over you.”


Then Jeremiah reluctantly said Yes to God’s call to be a servant in His Kingdom.


I share that story with you today because I think that it echoes what we heard in our first reading today. The prophet Isaiah talks about people who are called to be servants of God. People do not call themselves. It is God and God alone who calls people to serve in His kingdom.


Isaiah goes on to say that the servants of God are suffering servants. His book contains four suffering servant songs. Each suffering servant song describes how someone is persecuted for being faithful to their covenant relationship with God. Isaiah believes that being a servant of God should be our number one goal in life.


In today’s Gospel John the Baptist says that Jesus is the Servant of God. Jesus began his ministry as a servant of God in Galilee. He said to the people, “I am a servant. I come to you as one who serves. I see the sacredness and dignity of each person. I see the goodness of God in the Pharisees and the lepers. I see God living in the scribes and the tax collectors, in the rich and in the poor. In those who are sick and in those who are healthy.


Some people in his audience did not like his message. They thought that God is living in some people but not others. They said, “Let’s throw him over the cliff.” But he slipped away from them. Later Jesus decided to go to Jerusalem.


His disciples said, “Don’t go down there. Things are worse down there. That place is a hotbed of political unrest.” But Jesus set his face firmly toward Jerusalem. Nothing could stop him from doing God’s will. A good servant always does the will of his master.


During his time in Jerusalem Jesus suffered the agony in the garden. When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He said to himself, “Yes. Things are worse down here. I’m tempted to run over the hill and head for the desert and get away from all this turmoil.” In fact, Jesus even asked His Father to change the Master Plan. He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup of suffering away.”


Scripture says that his anguish was so great that his sweat became drops of blood that fell onto the ground. But then Jesus remembered his commitment and he prayed, “Father, let thy will, not mine be done.” A good servant always does the will of his master.


And that is the key to the story of salvation. Jesus decided to follow through on doing God’s will. And everything else flowed from that decision. He was a faithful servant of God. He went back into the city of Jerusalem to preach God’s message. And they hated him for it. And they killed him by crucifying him between two thieves. He was a faithful servant of God and God was faithful to Him. God raised Him up on the third day.


I will close by asking us to think about what we do at the end of each Mass. We talk about being servants of God. We conclude the Mass by saying, “We go forth to serve the Lord.”


The Holy Eucharist helps us to be servants of God. We declare that we are going forth in peace and in love to serve the Lord. We pray today - and every day - that we can truly be servants of God.


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