“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…”
1 Cor. 1:1
‘You did not choose me,’ Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I chose you.’ This affronts our ego because we like to be in charge of our own choices. But finding a spiritual teacher is not like signing up for a course at college. The Christian disciple feels he or she has been chosen and has given their consent to this calling.
Laurence Freeman, First Sight: The Experience of Faith
This weekend we transition from the Christmas season to the season of Ordinary Time. Ordinary time is a time to reflect on our call to be disciples of Jesus. Today’s readings highlight God’s call to discipleship and ask us for our response.
St. Paul had a powerful experience of being called on the road to Emmaus (see Acts 9). He knew that he was responding to God’s call. He was “called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… “ (1 Cor. 1:1) and he responded with deeper faith every day.
John the baptist recognized his call when he saw “the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon [Jesus]” (Jn. 1:33). His response deepened from being a prophet, to being a witness, to being a martyr. John responded with greater fidelity each day to the Lord’s invitation to discipleship.
Sometimes we think that we have chosen to follow Jesus. We decide to follow Jesus. We can even take pride in this. “Surely Jesus appreciates having such a great disciple as me” we think to ourselves. But the truth is that, like Paul and John and every disciple, we do not choose Jesus, we simply respond to His call.
Ordinary time reminds us of that call. Jesus’ call comes to us at every moment. He invites us to deeper love of God. He summons us to deeper service of our neighbor. He asks us to love even our enemy.
How will you respond to Jesus’ call today?
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood