Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Your name is Servant

~excerpt from a homily by Fr. Philip Powell, O.P.
They are fishermen. And when he calls them by name, “they [leave] their nets and [follow] him.” What did these men hear when Christ called to them? Did they hear their names spoken aloud?

...How strange is it that Simon, Andrew, James, and John—not hearing their names from Jesus and apparently not knowing who he is—leave their livelihood and follow him? It is exceedingly strange. . .well, unless, of course, we will say that when Christ calls us to follow him, he simultaneously re-names us with our mission. In other words, what we hear when he calls is not an old name, an “unturned name,” but the name he gives us to turn us to him. Perhaps you will be startled to recognize in this new name of yours an old mission. Or you might find comfort in hearing again why you were made. There could fear or anxiety or abiding pleasure. However you might feel about being renamed when called to your mission, turn and say “Yes, Lord!” Remember: at baptism we took on the life of Christ, adopting his name for our mission. . .there is no moment, no place when we are without the name of Christ; no moment, no place when we are without his prophetic and priestly ministry. Our lives are lives of constant conversion, turning-always back to Christ, turning back to follow him.

Here’s your assignment. When someone calls your name today, turn to them, and say to yourself: “What can I leave behind today to make Christ better known to you?” Or perhaps you can say to yourself: “Yes, Lord! How may I serve?” We prayed the responsorial to the Psalm 116 this morning: “To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.” Will you? When you hear your name called today, offer a sacrifice of praise to God by saying, “O Lord, I am your servant…you have loosed my bonds.”

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