A well-known individual walked among friendly contemporaries, carrying a small briefcase, and was asked; “where are you traveling to and what’s in your bag?” The response was simply “I am not sure but will know once I arrive.”
Perhaps this is a common occurrence among many persons who appear to have a mission, yet unbeknown to them the destination or direction remains a mystery. All that they are aware of is something is guiding their future and they may not even see the finality of their quest, immediately
Abraham, was called by God, and at age 75 followed the Lord’s direction and moved to an unknown country where he began a destiny, according to God, and the rest is history. Abraham was a simple man with no formal education, but God said; “Abram had faith and only God knew what Abraham would accomplish." His suitcase was trust in the Lord.
Moses was called when the cries of perdition reached the Lord regarding His people in Egypt and one was needed to bring them out and back to God. Moses was born and raised as a Prince of Egypt, but once he realized he was a Hebrew, the hand of God was upon him and his suitcase was filled with wonderment and again the unknown trust in God led him to accomplish God’s Will.
Throughout human history can be seen many stories of trust in God and the ultimate goal is usually unknown, unseen, and not understood very clearly. Even the “Mystery of the Church”, as described by St. Paul (Col. 1:24-26) was not clearly revealed until Christ in His ministry became visible and then realized in man. All through the bible events began with people chosen by God leading the way into the hidden shroud of the future and ultimately opening to a crescendo of God’s desires for His people’s benefits.
How many were educated with PhD’s, members of long lines of Royalty, or people chosen because of their adherence to the Law, as in the Pharisees and Scribes? None!
Yet, Jesus chose 12 fishermen to be His Apostles (future bishops of the Church), Paul, a person contrary to the spread of Christianity, becoming His greatest Evangelist to the Gentiles, and so many born with the hand of God upon them to spread the faith by holiness and martyrdom because of the Holy Spirit’s presence within them.
From business-people to brick-layers, doctors to dishwashers, priests to poor people, housewives to homeless persons, or teachers to transients, the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not discriminate according to class or education, but all according the dictates of Almighty God. He does not choose because of us, but in spite of us. Not according to what we are, but to what we can become.
Yes, we are all called to use the gifts given to each, as the Spirit gives according to what we may become. All are called to holiness and that is reached, not because we think think we are perfect, but through our response to the call we have received; each in his/her discretion of Almighty God.
Jesus said; “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mt. 5:48. Although this only is found in Matthew’s Gospel it does require us to be merciful (as in Luke) and the righteousness from the Beatitudes; a fulfillment of prophecy and righteousness to moral conduct in conformity with God’s Will. We are called to be perfect as our Father is perfect and conform our lives, conduct, and moral attributes with the Holy Spirit’s promptings within each soul.
Are we called to become saints? Yes, because Jesus established a pattern for the believers of the Holy Trinity and the existence of a loving, forgiving, and Omnipotent God whose plan it is to share His Life and Love with us sets the road for us to journey on to Him. The early church called all believers in Christ saints, and even though the Catholic Church canonizes persons of outstanding accomplishments and martyrs for the Church, we all can reach that pinnacle by trying to live according to the dictates of Faith and with God’s Grace.
It isn’t as though any of us will be able to self-promote our attempts at sanctification, but we can however live as best we can in a manner of holiness, prayer, almsgiving, and charity Mt. 6: 1-8. These are the very attributes found in Matthew’s Gospel and read during Ash Wednesday’s Mass. “Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly; gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room, and the bride her chamber.” Joel 2: 15-17.
This is a time of repentance as we look forward to the Lord’s Passion/Paschal Mystery which may entail the need to conform our lives, while seeking that holiness that is not elusive, but at our fingertips and desire. We must all try to live according to what Almighty God has asked of us with the looking to the perfection that Jesus advocates when He says; “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” Mt. 5: 48.
Where may we find this perfection or how will we understand its prescriptive concept if our goals are not in line with His Grace? Reach out to the Living God, seek within ourselves the Presence of the Holy Spirit given to each at Baptism and accepted with our Confirmation. Walk in a way that mirrors the walk of Christ during the days following His baptism, temptations, and calling upon His Father’s Presence when confronting the evil that stood in front of Him in the person of Satan. Jesus knew what His mission was about and as fully man and fully God He moved forward because the prize would be our souls with forgiveness and redemption. This path was to complete the Divine Plan of God to share His Life and Love with His creatures. We are the prize, we are the goal, we are God’s purpose of the Divine Act hidden for ages, revealed in Christ, and perpetuated (realized) in us.
We are called by God, we are desired by God, we are creatures who live in the temples of the Holy Spirit and are precious in the eyes of a loving and caring God. How precious are we? God came to save us from eternal death by paying the price using Divine Justice; becoming our sin in the person of Jesus and rising as the Christ in the sign of Glory and never-ending love for us.
Who was this well-known individual who walked among friendly contemporaries? You! The message in the briefcase was trust in God and follow His direction.