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Father Muench Says...

Understanding God’s call to us

July 6, 2016

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I finished the homily last Sunday and, to my surprise, the Offertory song that the music people had chosen fit perfectly into the theme I used in the homily.

I know this happens often but on that day it was so great I couldn’t help but smile.

My homily at the Masses centered on our vocation as a Catholic and Christian.  We believe and have great faith that God wants to be a copartner with us in life.

Each day the Lord calls us and leads us with many opportunities to live as dedicated Christians and disciples of Jesus.  The Lord invites us to follow him, to live like Jesus, bringing happiness and love to others, to all others – to family, friends even to strangers that we might meet today.

I hoped that the people would come to realize that their prayers at each Mass should be for the grace to hear and understand God’s call to us so that we would recognize our vocation for that very day and have the fortitude to act on it.

Each day God surprises us with many opportunities to live out our vocation.

So, on that Sunday, I was surprised at how well the Offertory song fit into this message of vocation so perfectly.  I hoped that all the folks would follow the words to the music as it would help them understand this message.
I often encourage everyone at Mass to at least follow the words of the songs – they are such beautiful prayers.  Some folks tell me they skip the songs because they are not singers.  I usually nag them to follow the songs like prayers.

On that day, the song chosen for the Offertory was entitled “The Summons” written by Kevin Grove.  You may know it – so today I would like to share some of it with you.

The First Verse: “Will you come and follow me, if I but call your name?  Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known; will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

As we sing our words are the words of Jesus, the invitation of Jesus to follow him, when he calls our name as he does so often each day.

The song reminds us that Lord calls us to be ready to demonstrate in our lives God’s great love for us.  We are a loved people.I am called in love to see God in each person I meet – friend, family, even stranger.  This is a vocation for all of us, disciples of Jesus.

This is the call of the Lord. In this way the life and love of Jesus will grow in us, a love that others will recognize in the way we live our lives.

Our hope is that they discover through us God’s great love for them.

Second Verse: “Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?  Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?  Will you risk the hostile stare – should your life attract a scare?  Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Again, these are the Lord’s words. the Lord inviting and challenging us.  With the words “leave yourself behind,”Jesus calls us to eliminate selfishness in our lives.  We do this because the Lord has called us by our own name.  He truly knows us.  Because we are called, we are ready to care for all, the good and the bad.  
We help others best by seeing God in them.  As a disciples of Jesus, we are ready to demonstrate to others, the power of prayer, the reflection of God’s love. We have been called. 

Fifth Verse: (As usual, the last verse is the most powerful) – “Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.  Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.  In your company I’ll go, where your love and footsteps show.  Thus, I’ll move and live and grown in you and you in me.”

Now, the words are our own words.  Our prayer is always that God grows in us so that we experience fully God’s great love for us and our readiness to live in that love.

Our prayer is that we become new in the Lord. We are transformed and truly become a new person bursting forth with the love of a disciples of Jesus, showing everyone the love we have discovered in the Lord. 

Then we will truly move in the Lord, live in the Lord,  grow in the Lord who will grow in us. We have been called.

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