Listen to God’s Call

By Deacon John Rangel

1Samuel 3:3b-10,19
1Corinthians 6:13c-15a,17-20
John 1:35-42

“God is good! … All the time! All the time! …God is good!”

Let us examine these selected scripture verses for our instruction and inspiration that focus on God’s call – and our proper response.

From the time of Adam and Eve, down through the ages the Scriptures are filled with radical calls: the Samaritan woman, Moses, Jonah, Martha and Mary, Zacchaeus, Samuel, to name just a few.  Today in this New Year God is calling you. Are you listening?

God’s ways are surely wonderful! He could govern and regulate this world and all its inhabitants most correctly and successfully all by himself. However, he has decided to give man a chance of co-operating with him in the running of the material and spiritual affairs of his world. Perhaps they are more often a hindrance rather than a help to the Lord. Yet, he not only allows them but he calls them, selects them for various roles in the government of his world.

This is true in the running of the temporal affairs as well as the government of the spiritual life of men on earth. The exercise of power over a nation or community of people is not from man but from God, thus the obligation on subjects to obey the just laws of their rulers. God it is who delegates his authority to earthly rulers.

During the first eight hundred years of God’s dealings with his Chosen People, both the temporal and spiritual leadership of the people always resided in one and the same individual. The Patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, the Judges down to the appointment of kings (1030 B.C.), were individually called by God to administer both the temporal and spiritual affairs of the community. Today’s lesson tells us how Samuel the prophet got his call to fulfill this double task of temporal and spiritual leadership of God’s people. Because God was with him in all his doings he carried it out very successfully for about twenty years.

All men and women have a vocation – a call – from God in this life. Each individual has duties to perform which, if faithfully carried out, will earn for them the place God has planned for them in the eternal kingdom. A few are called to be the leaders of their fellowman. The vast majority of us are called to follow our leaders by loyally obeying the laws enacted for their just government. Each one of us has a call from God, a part to play in the temporal and spiritual affairs of this life. The future status of each one of us will be determined by the manner in which we carried out our role – responded to the call on earth.

Samuel didn’t have the faintest idea that it was God who was speaking to him when he first got his call, his vocation, in the shrine at Shiloh. But when he eventually realized the truth (thanks to Eli’s wise counsel) he immediately offered his humble service to the Lord, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

How few of us have seen or heard a call from God, a divine vocation, in the humdrum activities of our daily lives, and yet these ordinary daily tasks are the road to heaven that God has mapped out for us. These are the “vocations” he has given us. We may say that we ourselves chose our careers in life, we decided what occupation we should follow, but behind our free decisions the wise providence of God, working through parents, neighbors, circumstances of time and place, has so arranged our earthly journey that it would end for us in heaven. Many of us grumble at our role in life. We think our lot is so inferior and demanding when compared with the life others lead, and even go so far as to say that God could have no part in such a bad arrangement. Yet, God is in charge of his world. He chooses each individual for the role he is to carry to its successful conclusion. And let’s not forget that although we may have responded to God’s call to our specific “vocation” in life, above all we are called to be Holy. We are called to be Evangelizers!

“There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we will,” Shakespeare tells us. God has a master plan for the human race and to each one of us he has given a little niche in that plan. If we play the part he has given us, though it be noble or humble in the eyes of this world, we will make a success of God’s master-plan, of this great human drama. Our own eternal success will be assured. With Samuel today, let us accept our vocation and humbly submit ourselves to his divine will: “Speak Lord for thy servant is listening”.

Deacon John Rangel
CMCS Archives January 15, 2012

Photo: Copyright Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved.

7 Scripture Principles for Business Leadership

Did you know that the Bible says more about money than any other subject? Even more than love!

Why do you think this is?

This may bring to mind your thinking that money is the root of evil, but, that’s not quite it. “For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.”1Tim 6:10

God knows that to fully love we have to put money into perspective.

So lets jump in with both feet…..

7 Business Leadership Principles from God’s Word:

1) God owns our money and trusts us to be a good steward of what He owns. See the Parable of the Talents in Matt. 25: 14-30 Likewise, God is so generous that he only asks that we tithe a small portion back to Him, and then gives us the rest to manage.

2) Who or what do we worship. When we look in our checkbook, where does most of our money go? Temporal things of this world, or do we channel our resources to bring value to the lives of others and thus share the Gospel?

3) Pay your obligations before yourself. I was raised in a family business, my parents made sure their vendors and employees were paid before themselves. Would you go without a paycheck to fulfill your vows as a business leader? See The Workers in the Vineyard in Matt. 20:1-16

4) When we donate our business resources what is our motive? Do we do it sincerely from our heart to serve the Lord, or to serve our business? Though, there is nothing wrong with the by-product of our sincerity to donate to also benefit our business, as long as we keep it in right perspective.

5) Business partnerships, is our first partner in business Jesus Christ? Do we read the Bible for principles and seek God through prayer to solve our problems?

6) Is our purpose of a Catholic in business to glorify God? Everything we say or do must be weighed against our purpose – does it glorify God? Read Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others”. If we are an employee then do we view our paycheck as a certificate of performance?

7) Share the Gospel in the Workplace. At one of the Parish Small Men’s Groups a man shared how his signature in company email “God Bless” got him in deep hot water. Does the culture of our workplace allow us to share the Gospel in word or only in action? What would Jesus do?

There is a delicate balance in sharing and living the Gospel in business today. And, as Catholic Men, we must walk our talk and seek to meet God where He is at work while we are at work.


Frank J Casella
CMCS Executive Director

The Head of the Household Leads!

Imagine yourself 2000 years ago visiting relatives in Galilee, maybe even the village of Capernaum and a buddy of yours approaches you wishing to introduce you to Jesus of Nazareth who hangs around Capernaum pretty frequently when he’s not at the lakeshore fishing with the men he has chosen to himself, teaching them and throwing in little anecdotes and parables absorbing their attention.

Your friend introduces you to Jesus one afternoon and you find his manner and bearing something that draws you in.  Jesus greets you and calls you by your name, surprisingly.  You don’t say much to the Lord, you are simply fascinated by his person and what he has to say, how he interprets the times and the lessons he offers on how to live uprightly.  You are so drawn to the rabbi from Nazareth you run home and tell your wife about the man you met in Capernaum.  After a sleepless night you decide to drag your wife and children the next day to one of the rallying spots where Jesus teaches.  You so want your wife and children to meet this rabbi who is attracting crowds to himself and lifting hearts.

If you can imagine such a random encounter with Jesus Christ, can you also imagine yourself bringing your wife and children to mass to meet Jesus in the place where he teaches and feeds the crowd – your parish church?

Bishop Joseph N Perry

 

 

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