Tuesday, October 28, 2014

God's Invitation

By Beth DeCristofaro

Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord (Ephesians 2:19-21)

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself (Luke 6:12)

Lord Jesus, help me to see that all that I experience is a call to live life more deeply with you, to help grow your sacred temple in the love of neighbor, and to commit myself more fully as a member of your Father’s household, a fellow citizen with your Holy Ones.

Fr. Jacques Phillippe writes powerfully of our challenge and struggle to free ourselves from the real prison of our own expectations, predispositions, fears, and unexamined aspiration of “freedoms” which hold us back from fully accepting God’s love and being a disciple (Interior Freedom, Scepter Publishers, 2002).  As an example he refers to the writings of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jew who learned about and then began to live by Christian, Gospel values.  Under German occupation, Etty wrote:  “But above the one narrow path still left to us stretches the sky, intact.  They (the Nazis) can’t do anything to us, they really can’t. … I believe in God and I believe in man and I say so without embarrassment.  Life is hard but that’s no bad thing.” (pg 23)  Etty believed that we must not be complicit in evil and that love brings true peace.  One year after this passage, young Etty died in Auschwitz.

God invites us in so many ways to be fellow citizens among the holy ones.  Jesus asked twelve men to follow him in his journey; he called Mary and Martha and they served him in Bethany.  Our latest Men’s team and our new Cursillistas heard the call of the Spirit and a weekend of celebration and pilgrimage was held.  We speak of life vocations – for me as a chaplain, for my husband as a fund raiser and writer.  My mother says once a nurse, always a nurse.  With Jesus as capstone we are disciples with our own unique voices and abilities raising a temple sacred in the Lord.

Jesus, like us, found that he could hear God more clearly through prayer.  Etty found the divine speaking to her while riding her bike.  Where is my mountain on which to commune with God?  Ask God to help you find the interior freedom to be always cognizant of being the beloved, standing in God’s presence.  Keep the new Cursillistas and all Cursillistas prayer.

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