“In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister.” Silence and solitude are essential in discerning God’s particular will and call. It is in sacred silence that we are able to determine that God truly speaks to us and he shares what he wills for us. Quiet meditation on Scripture is an important aspect of the discernment process. We need to ponder God’s Word in the depths of our hungry hearts and aching souls in order to hear God’s particular, individual call for each one of us. Reflecting on scripture daily will provide us with a greater appreciation of how helpful biblical writings can be in the discernment process. One of the overarching themes found in scripture is freedom. We need freedom from worldly distractions to determine if we are free to love and serve God and if we are free to know and follow Christ. Scripture reminds us that God calls us to this freedom. Are you free to love God with all your heart? Are you free to make Christ the center of your life? Are you free to serve him through the People of God? These can be tough questions to ask oneself in discerning the individual and particular call God has planned for you. Nevertheless, as one prepares for ministry to the Church, they are an important part of discerning God’s call. Through prayer and spiritual guidance, we can address those things that prevent us from being more free to love and serve our Lord. We can address the things that conflict with leading a good life and simply being a good person. Being a good Christian involves living out a life in line with the teachings of our Lord. It is a life centered on Christ that seeks to grow in goodness and holiness as we await his return. Saint Paul tells us to “hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good” (Rom 12:9). However, we know due to our human condition we can be weak and vulnerable and make serious mistakes and wrong choices. We are imperfect beings who strive towards perfection but realize that it is out of reach unless we are connected and united to Christ. God calls all humanity to holiness. Our Lord desires us to drop everything that is contrary to his ways, his plans, his call so we can be free to simply love and serve him. Can you hear God inviting you to detach yourself freely from the things that prevent you from totally surrendering yourself to God’s love and his Holy Will?
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time