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A Reflection On 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time, Year A by Fr. Isidore Clarke. O.P.

A Reflection On 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time, Year A by Fr. Isidore Clarke. O.P.

2nd SUNDAY of ORDINARY TIME -YEAR A

Greeting from Fr. Isidore Clarke on 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A.

'Here I am Lord.I come to do your will.'These words are taken from today's Responsorial Psalm, (Ps. 39).They sum up Christ's vocation and ours -His followers. In the 1st Reading (Is. 49. 3-6) we are told about God choosing and preparing a servant.He would be a "light to the nations" and would "bring the Lord's salvation to the ends of the earth."

That prophecy was fulfilled in Christ.At his baptism the Father recognised Jesus as his beloved Son or Servant, and in the power of the Spirit he began to preach the Kingdom of God. The words, 'Here I am Lord.I come to do your will' sum up Christ's life-long openness and obedience to his Father's will.This would take him to Gethsemane and the cross.

'Here I am Lord.I come to do your will' sums up our Christian vocation.At our baptism each one of us becomes God's beloved son or daughter, called to serve Him and our neighbour with love. There are many ways in which we can do that.For most of us it will be as married or single lay people.In those capacities, there are many possibilities. God will call others to serve Him in the priesthood or religious life.

In practice, it's never a question of one vocation being better than another, but of which one is right and best for us.God calls each one of us to something special, which probably won't be anything spectacular and may shift from serving Him in one way during a certain period in our lives, to something different later on.I have had to learn that in the frailty of sickness or old age I can't do what was possible when I was an active youngster, some 60 ago.Being frail is a very special and difficult vocation.So is being young and active.

Sometimes it may be difficult for us to know what God is asking of us. With the young Samuel we should say, 'Speak, Lord, your servant is listening,' (1 Sam. 3.9).Usually we don't hear a voice from heaven clearly telling us what we should do.Instead, God helps us to make up our minds through prayerful thought and inquiry.Wise advice or someone simply acting as a sounding-board can be of great assistance.God may well want us to use our particular interests and skills in His service.

It can be a problem when we simply can't tell what God wants of us!This uncertainty may last for some time.Though that may be distressing for us, it may be God's plan for us at that particular moment.He may want us to learn to wait on the Lord and to learn to be patient with Him and ourselves.For a time God may want us to serve him by our living with uncertainty.If so, we will need a great deal of trust to believe God knows what He's doing, even if we don't.As we place ourselves in God's hands we should pray, 'Thy will be done,' or with Mary, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word.'

We can be called to these periods of uncertainty at any time of our lives -as a school or university-leaver, uncertain about what he's going to do with his life, or someone who becomes unemployed and doesn't yet know how he's occupy himself.Or perhaps we've just come out of prison and are facing a very uncertain future.Perhaps a serious accident or illness may make our previous activity impossible.The future can look very bleak and frightening.I've been there; I know.

To pray, 'Here I am Lord.I come to do your will' means that we are open to God.We are willing to listen to Him, and are eager to do His will.That takes great courage and trust that God and will give us the strength to do whatever He asks of us.For our part, when we say 'Yes' to God's will we must mean it and do it, wherever that may take us. It's no use being full of good intentions if we don't carry them out.

To say 'Yes' to God is the most difficult of prayers to say and really mean -as Jesus learnt in Gethsemane.But perhaps surprisingly, it is precisely in doing God's will that we will find our greatest fulfilment, with the greatest reward.In the final reckoning the Lord will say to us, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! ….. Come and share your master's happiness!' (Matt. 25. 23).

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