– Br. Michael, ofm
The prophet Isaiah and the apostle Paul are always reminding us of our worth, inherent goodness and the dignity of being the children of God.
In chapter forty-one, Isaiah retells what God has said to him. God formed him in the womb to be a servant. He is honored in the sight of the Lord. God is his strength, for he is called to be a light to the nations.
These words are not just for Isaiah, they are for each of us. God who is Creator of all good has formed us to be servants (heralds, agents) of this goodness. We are to tell others of the depth of love, mercy and grace. God continually delights in us and is honored in our lives through our acts of goodness, our returning spirit, our acknowledging what separates us from God and in the ways we shine our light (aka: share our gifts, build the kingdom, preach the good news with our lives). God who is indeed our strength shines through us each day. What an intimate connection we share with our Creator-Triune God.
The apostle Paul, in his many letters refers to the communities he writes to as saints. He reminds them of this call in Christ. This is not just an accolade for the communities of long ago. The call to sainthood is part of our inherent goodness, it is made known in our baptism, it is what we are called to be now. Called to be saints, as saint Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, “with all those who in every place call on the name of Jesus” (1.1-3). Here in this place and time, we call on the name of Jesus as we profess our belief in him and give witness to his gospel. It is not about halos and angel wings. It is not neat and tidy, it is lived, honest and authentic. It is claiming our baptismal promises. It is meeting Christ in the muck and the glory. It is beginning again. It is responding each day and, in each season, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will” (Psalm 40).
Photo Credit: Terricks Noah