Today is Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn Child. This is my homily from yesterday, the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time based on Mark 1:14-20.
Jon 3.1-5,10; Ps 25; 1 Cor 7.29-31; Mk 1.14-20
Today We Hear The Calling Of The First Apostles. Last week we heard God calling Samuel who responded, “Here I am Lord, speak for your servant is listening." We can also think about Mary
’s call and her fiat, her “yes”, to the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
All I can think about is what if any of them had said no. What if Mary had said no to the calling of the angel and the Holy Spirit. What if she had never had the chance to say yes. There would be no Jesus. There would be no hope in a life hereafter.
What if the disciples had said no when Jesus called them. There would be no apostles to spread the good news and form the Church.
What if you and I never had the chance to be. What if we had no chance to be who we are and do what we are called to be and do. We sometimes have problems and sometimes life can be difficult, but not to even have the chance to exist. That is scary to me.
I believe that from the moment of conception we all have been called – we all have a calling. We can spend our entire life trying to figure out what that calling is. I think of the quote from Carl Jung, the great psychologist. He says: “Explore Daily The Will Of God.”
Sometimes we may have more than one calling – in fact, we may have many callings. Most of us do have many callings. I am a father, a husband, a brother. I was called to be an ordained deacon. I am a chaplain at the hospital. There are many things I have been called to be and do.
I was the oldest child in a family of two brothers and two sisters. When I was in high school, my mother said that she was pregnant again. I remember very vividly that she said she wished that she wasn’t pregnant. That really didn’t affect me much because I thought I understood how she felt. I already had two brothers and two sisters who I enjoyed and loved very much. One more really didn’t matter that much.
But then close to the end of her pregnancy, she had a miscarriage. I remember her having so much guilt thinking about what she had said earlier – that she didn’t want this child. At the time I really didn’t understand her feelings. It was only later that I understood these feelings. This child who was miscarried, was sent to this earth for a purpose. I believe that purpose was to help the people touched by her to understand how precious life is. Her name was Maria and she made a difference to the people around her. My parents now lie next to her.
How sad it is when a life is taken from the womb and a child of God never has a chance to fulfill his or her purpose in life. How sad it is when a life is taken before a natural death and that person has not had the chance to make a difference in all the lives that he or she was meant to affect.
We are all sent here for a purpose. It may take a lifetime to realize that purpose. I know for me, it is often only in looking back on my life that I realize what God’s plan was for me.
But God has formed and breathed life into every person who has ever existed. We all were created in the image of God. The good news Jesus preached is that God loves each and everyone one of us. There is not a single person who is not loved and cared for by God.
Psalm 25 today says “Teach me your ways O Lord. Your ways make known to me; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God and my savior.”
The spirit of God is within us and that spirit of God is calling us. We may not always know what that purpose or call is. But let us pray that everyone has the chance to fulfill their calling – whatever it is – from the moment of conception to a natural death.
Deacon Greg Beckel