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BE AN EXTRAORDINARY SON AND DAUGHTER OF God!
How do you meet people, do they come up to you and say “Hey, would you be my friend?” Chances are that someone introduced you to your friends. Even in the bible we hear of people introducing their friends to God: John the Baptist introduced his friends to Jesus. This Sunday’s readings introduced Jesus going down to the fishing boats to visit his new friends.
The readings speak of God’s calling. When you hear that God is calling, what comes to your mind? Some people think of a young man called to the priesthood or a woman called to be a nun. Others think of religious fanatics knocking at your door? For some people, anyone going to church or becoming a priest is a religious fanatic.
Do you think God is calling you? Do you think you have a vocation or that God has a plan for you in this life? Do you consider yourself a child of God? So, what about your own calling? Do you remember the day that God called you by name? Yes, by name, God always calls by name and last name. Would you recognize Jesus’ call if you heard it?
Some people think of God’s calling as something extraordinary in which God’s voice is heard from heaven; maybe with lightening and thunders. They wait to hear “I AM CALLING YOU.” It sounds funny, but I have met a lot of people waiting for an extraordinary “sign from heaven”. They want that sign to be big, like a thundering voice. When they do not hear it, in an extraordinary way, they assume that God is not calling. Yet, God rarely calls people that way.
If you notice in today’s readings, Jesus’ call is normal; there is nothing extraordinary in the way he called his disciples. He saw what they were doing and approaching them he said, “follow me”. Imagine that! The choosing of Peter, the first pope, was not spectacular with thundering voice, but simple.
When Mary was at home, an angel appeared to her. Did it appear in physical form with flesh and bones and wings? Could he have appeared in her mind like a vision? Would it make a difference how he appeared? The fact is that the encounter was done where Mary was, in her house as she was doing what she always did.
God communicates with you and me in a very simple and ordinary way (through natural phenomena). There is nothing “extraordinary about that”. What is extraordinary is our response to God. Did you get that? The appearance of the angel is not extraordinary, but Mary’s response is. The calling of Jesus is not extraordinary, but Peter’s response is. Think for a moment about the nature of God. God’s nature is communicating with his creation, you and me. For him, it is natural and normal and ORDINARY to call us. It is in his nature, he is inclined to do so, because his nature is love, relationship; an unconditional fatherly/motherly love.
God is constantly calling each one of us; there is no doubt about it. Yet you may feel that he does not care about you or that he is not calling you. You may want a more tangible proof, a more personal way; I get it, in an extraordinary way with thunders and bolts.
The reason that Peter’s response is extraordinary is because our nature tends to walk away from God. What is NOT in our nature is saying Yes. Even though, we were made for God, he gave us the freedom of saying no. Our YES response is extraordinary because it presupposes an understanding of God’s love. Our YES requires from us an understanding of what it takes to follow Jesus: which at times it means sacrifices; it means not cursing my brother when he hurts me, but blessing him. It means forgiving my sister when her behavior is irrational and crazy; it means controlling my mouth, when I want to curse the heck out of my day and my stupidity and my brothers’ ignorance. The YES requires a change in perspective and actions; it presupposes an interior journey in which I have looked at myself in the mirror and challenge what I am in an unimaginable way. And a “YES” shows your growth.
No wonder people are invited to pray, and they say no; they are invited to church and they make up the most ridiculous excuses for not going. No wonder people are asked to forgive others, but they reason that they “can’t” or “won’t”. They are being called by God with coincidences, phone calls, and invitations from family and friends, even from a random television show, where the host says, “what about forgiveness?” But they turn the consciousness off, they search for other channels and they stop answering HIS calls. The truth is that they don’t want to hear from God, because their relationship with God is NOT extraordinary.
Today, I wish that you could seriously reflect on your calling. You may not think of yourself as special or extraordinary. You may have seen life go bye and noticed the wrinkles in your forehead and your hair increasingly grey, and assume there is nothing else to do or be. You are a son/daughter of God. You have a spirit, you have a purpose, and you are worth God’s own sacrifice.
You are extraordinary when you step out of your worldly view, when you recognize your mistakes and wish for something different. You can tap into God’s grace, by traveling down, from your mind to your heart (the road less traveled) and saying YES. Don’t let doubt confuse you, don’t let insecurity ruin your journey. What God is asking is not to leave everything and become something totally different. What he is calling you to do is to be nicer to your neighbors, forgiving of others, faithful to your spouse, loving to your children, understanding of the poor, compassionate to the homeless and more appreciative of your journey (even less critical of your own mistakes). Say YES and become one of the many extraordinary people in the world making a difference.
Thank you and many blessings!
Rev. Marc Angelo, MDiv, MBAacc
Remember that you can listen to some of my sermons in English and Spanish on the webpage: http://archangelschurch.org – look for past sermons.
Fr. Marc Angelo
2851 W. 120th St. Suite E-279, Hawthorne CA 90250
Fr. Marc Angelo
Fr. Marc Angelo and Fr. Jacob are very appreciative of your support and your contribution to Archangels and Seraphim Church: please continue to support us by visiting http://archangelschurch.org/ and making a generous donation. You can also send a check to: 2851 W. 120th St. Suite E-279, Hawthorne, CA 90250. May God multiply your generosity in health and love! Thank you
Mass every Sunday at 5:00pm (Spanish) and 6:00pm (English) at St. Mary’s in Palms 3647 Watseka Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034-3914