THE GIFT OF NEW LIFE
This past week we celebrated both the Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus. These are significant events. They speak of the mission of the Christian life which is to spread the word of God to the whole world, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Epiphany is our feast as Gentiles following the star with the Wise Men who came to worship the newborn King. Then, at the baptism of Jesus, John identifies Jesus as the Son of God and the Father speaks the words, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
This month we celebrate the feast of God’s chosen daughter, Angela, in whom it is certain that God is well pleased. Imagine, if you will, the Mother of us all, the woman who spent her life following God’s will and quietly, with reverence and love inviting thousands of Ursuline sisters, Angelines, Daughters, Associates and friends to follow that path to holiness and peace to do as she did. Angela invited us to seek God’s will each day, through prayer and contemplation.
The call of each one of us is the call to preach the Good News, to bring the Good News of Jesus and be the Good News of the Gospel in all the areas of our lives.
What does this mean? Well, each of us is asked to open our hearts and minds to the Spirit of God and to follow the call to carry out God’s will. It is a process of learning what God’s will is for me each day. How do I discern what is God’s will for me? How do I find out what this day brings in relationship to my call from God? I can only find God’s will by finding God in prayer. I can only find God’s will by coming to a relationship with God.
Only then can we follow Jesus into our world that is so in need of the gift of God’s life and the peace of Jesus Christ. And so, we pray for the grace necessary to open our hearts to forgiveness and to love for our brothers and sisters, which leads us to relationships which are healing. We are called to that kind of loving which is always leading us out of ourselves to the other.
And so we pray: God, loving one, teach us the way to you. Help us to spend time with you in prayer that we are forgiven and healed. Now as your followers, give us the courage and strength to live for others as Jesus did. May we put aside our selfishness and our personal desires so that we live our lives for others. Amen.