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Father Muench Says...

Hearing, following God’s call

May 11, 2022

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

During this Easter season, I have often meditated on what it must have been like to be one of those original apostles of the Lord, the original 12. They had sent a time living with and learning from the Lord, hearing his message and recognizing his call. Then they suddenly experienced his arrest and crucifixion and then the events of the Lord’s resurrection to new life. In faith and trust they accepted the challenge and vocation to bring Jesus and his message to their world.

This was certainly the most important time of our Catholic Church’s history – a time of formation. As we now realize all that our Church is in this present time and all that it experienced at the time of the formation, I for one believe it is all a miracle that we are now this Christian community. Somehow, in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit those apostles formed and followed the Lord Jesus to make this Church strong.

The Acts of the Apostles describe for us the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles, transforming them from fear-filled men into bold and powerful preachers and teachers of the Lord’s message of love and peace. We are told that those original apostles became unafraid even to risk their lives and become martyrs of the Lord Jesus.

They trusted in the formation they received from Jesus. They trusted in his guidance and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. They constantly dedicated themselves to the vocation of being followers of the Lord Jesus.

Even today we believe that the Lord Jesus continues to reach out to each one of us, calling us to recognize that we discover our vocation as those who the Lord needs to bring the word and message of our Savior to this world – bringing to people of this world, to our parishes and to our communities all that Jesus brought to our world.

Many of us answer that call by becoming ordained as priest and deacons, as well as bishops, ordained as were those original apostles ordained at the Last Supper. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we now accept this call or our God to seek the gifts of ordination, to live out the Lord’s call to bring the sacraments of the Lord to his people – the Lord’s baptism, the blessed Eucharist through the holy Mass, the Lord’s forgiveness through the sacrament of penance, the important support of the anointing of the sick and the dying.

Our Lord continues to call many to follow him through the vocation of marriage. Spiritually, marriage is a sacrament and a spiritual union. Through this sacrament, the Church community is formed as a family, a vocation of love and peace and life in the power of the Holy Spirit, leading to families, parents and children discovering the Lord Jesus and his message – a Christian community, a powerful and fundamental part of this world.

Our Lord continues to call many to the vocation of the single life alone or as a religious. This is a vocation – a calling, a challenge of reaching out as followers of Jesus to make this world a better place in the spirit of Our Savior.

All are apostles, disciples of the Lord. Just as those early followers of Jesus were, we are called to trust the Lord in faith, responding to the Lord’s call to make our world a community of peace. We know only too well that this trust has often failed. Our world is very vulnerable. Many turn from the Lord. Many have failed to follow the way of the Savior. So, Our Lord continues to call all to be renewed in the Holy Spirit, to discover their vocation, to discover how to use well the gifts that they have been blessed with by the Holy Spirit. Each of us have been called to a vocation as followers of the Lord Jesus, called to make our Church, our parish a power force to transform this world in the Lord’s love and peace.

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