Pulpit: Listen for God's invitation
I love the story of Elijah from the Old Testament. Elijah is told to go the mountain to listen for the Lord.
First, "a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing." I Kings 19:11
Once Elijah heard this gentle breeze, he covered his face for he knew he was in the presence of God. When do we stop, from the harried lives we live, and listen for the Lord?
Are you a reader? Then perhaps you should pick up the best-selling book in the world, the Bible, and give it some time every day. I would highly encourage you to start in the Gospel of Mark, which many Christian churches use in the spring. Mark was the first gospel written and really goes into what it means to be a follower of Jesus. In the reading of scripture, we can hear the Lord nudge us by his message.
Are you someone who is more visual in your learning? All Catholic churches have a wonderful cabinet — we call a tabernacle — where we save the leftover blessed bread after Mass. As Catholics, we believe the blessed bread is the body of Christ, and we appreciate the opportunity to be in the presence of Christ in the tabernacle and reflect on his love for us.
Many Catholics find it very spiritual to dedicate time every week to pray in front of the tabernacle. It becomes a discipline and a practice that helps them better integrate their faith into their daily lives. Christians, from other denominations, may find a picture of Jesus in their home or a crucifix, a wonderful focal point for prayer.
Listening for God's invitation can also come when we truly listen to the needs of others.
Recently, I was trying to listen well to Trent Fluegel, executive director of the Interfaith Hospitality House. He mentioned they needed some new bed pillows. So I asked parishioners at Holy Spirit to donate new pillows over a full week and collected 39 pillows for this wonderful organization. A very simple project, but by listening to the needs of others, I was able to be an instrument of God and help IHN with a real need. Was my conversation with Trent a coincidence? I think not!
How are you being called to be an instrument of God?
God is inviting all of us into a deeper relationship with him.... are YOU listening?