Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Road of Hope - Chapter 4
The call: vocation
Mobilize all your strength to follow God's call

61. "come and follow me." (Matt.4:19). The apostles gave up everything to follow Our Lord. Like them, are you going to decide once and for all to follow him when he calls you once? Or, how many times does he have to call you?

62. Making a decision will always involve some uncertainty. Hesitate, ponder over it, but finally you will have to make a decision.

63. Jesus states clearly the drastic measures that he requires: "If ay man has a mind to come my way, let him renonce self and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (luke9:23) and "if any man comes to me without hating his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes. and his own life too, he can be bo disciple of mine." (Lke14:26). The road to follow has been clearly defined. The call is clear and unambiguous.

64." Go and preach the gospel." (mark16:15). Our Lord requires of those who dare to accept this lofty mission a readiness to die, that is, a fearlessness in tha face of death. If e look back at two thousand years of the Church's history. We can see that in every age and from every class of people there has never been a lack of those illing to die for the gospel.

65. There are some people who, during their life, on everybody else to make decisions for them. Are you one of those?

66. Perhaps you wish to retreat because of some setbacks, or because you meet some people who cannot endure the various difficulties and trials which they encounter. But will you follow Our Lord or those other people?

67. Why are you so surprised that there are so many volunteers who are willing to die and follow the call of our Lord? Remember the words of our Lord, "And behold I am with you all through the days that are coming until the consummation of the world."(Matt.28:20).

68. Outsiders cannot understand why we follow the call of our Lord. They think we are mad. Jesus also was called mad by Herod(Cf.Like23:11). and we are proud to share such divine insanity.

69. Your decision to follow our Lord is not ust the "signing of your name", nor the pronouncing of vows, but it is the continuous day by day sacrifice involved in carrying out this decision during the whole of our life.

70. "And what of us who have forsaken all, and followed you; what is left for us?" (Matt.19:27). You have given up everything to follow our Lord who is your protector. Are you still worrying about anything?

71. Do not be surprised while you are following our Lord if you should hear the call of pleasure, of reputation, of your own body, of parents or of temptations to abandon this road of our lord. Still keep going. Our lord has warned us. "No one who looks behind him, when he has once put his hand to the plough, is fitted for the kingdom of God."(luke9:62).

72. "Follow me."(Matt.9:9). This call still continues to remind you of your commitment during every little task that you perform, and your "yes" also continues until your last breath.

73. Your response of "yes" is easy, but look at how our Lord followed the call right up to his death on the Cross. Deny yourself, carry your cross everyday and nail yourself to that cross.

74. Our Lord commands you. "Go and preach the gospel." (Matt16:15). He does not issue a time-table or draw up a plan. He leaves you to take the nitiative and overcome the difficlties, provided only that ou carry the gospel along with you.

75. The second Vatican councel teaches us to go back to the sources. Rediscover the lives of the Apostles , who people who lived with our divine saviour, who listened to him, who had personal contact with him and who were witnesses to him.

76. A programme which is being carried out well has to be left unfinished. Some zealous activities are reduced to inaction. Some mission at a very high level has to be scaled down to some minor activity. You are upset and discouraged. But has our Lord called you tofollow him or to follow this work or that person ? leave things to our Lord; he will work out everything for the best.

77. You do not trust anyone else you do not delegate work to anyone else, you do not give up your position to anyone else. Are you even more powerfl than God himself?

78. Why is it that you keep such a personal hold over this or that work, and why do you not wish to let it go when the higher authorities wish to transfer you to other duties? That work belongs to our Lord more than it belongs to you; it is his concern.

79. The moment in which you experience self-satisfaction in your apostolic work is the most dangerous moment for you. This is when the devil concentrates all his forces to take you by surprise.

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