“Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life.” Isaiah 55:3
Today’s scripture offers calming words for troubled souls. So many of us are grieving losses and setbacks after a painful year that left no one unchallenged. Yet we know that God is with us.
The invitation to life—eternal life—is the central core of our faith. The best way I know to find God is to focus on all the blessings we have received, and to get reacquainted with our priorities. What is most important in our lives? What is God calling us to be? Can we discern God’s presence even when times become difficult?
Prayer is a key part of the discernment process. Being still—allowing for the presence of God in quiet moments of meditation—and being open to the work of the Holy Spirit can renew us.
For me, being still means expressing gratitude for so many things: my family, my vocation, my fellow Maryknollers, my unforgettable years as a missioner in Peru, and for acts of kindness that have come my way… at times from the most unexpected of sources. But to be honest, my priorities for this year are not my own. I fully expected to return to mission in 2021 after serving in leadership for six years. But the pandemic made it impossible for us to hold our General Chapter last fall to elect a new leadership team. So here I am. Not doing what I necessarily want to. But fulfilling an unexpected role that God has given me.
What are you grateful for? And what are your priorities for the New Year? Taking a moment in prayer each day is a great way to “listen heedfully” and be renewed in God’s love. New paths open up to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands. Regardless of where I am, I know my role is to bring the joy of our faith to more people, and to be a better missioner. That’s what I pray for every day.
Friend, it’s a sign of humility when we can admit that God’s priorities are always better than our own. The “someone” that God is calling us to be is unique and special, and will be revealed no matter the circumstance as long as we let God in. Even things that cause us difficulty can be pathways to glory. So today, be hopeful because God is here, ever present and ever comforting.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 2nd Sunday
Speak to me, Lord, in the silence
of my heart, that I might learn
to listen for Your voice
and heed Your word ever present
in the people, places, and events
Help me to quiet my mind
when worries and problems upset me
and in the stillness fill me with Your peace
mindful of the countless blessings
I have received from Your merciful hands.
Grant that I may be ever grateful
for all the gifts You have given me:
Life, family, friends, health, joy, and love.
And may I thank you too for all the trials
that come my way that teach me to rely
on Your Holy Will to make things right
Through Christ, our Lord
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso