“It’s My Job”
At the 12 noon mass last Sunday Fr. Stanley described a painting by Caravaggio. It was of St. Matthew being inspired by the Holy Spirit to record the gospel which bears his name.
It could be said that Matthew was called by Jesus, transformed by God’s mercy and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The result is that an ordinary man took on an extraordinary job: sharing the story of salvation for generations to come.
Fr. Stanley candidly shared that a similar calling, mercy and inspiration help him get past his own human shortcomings to do his job: preach the gospel message. He then challenged us to see the same in our lives and embrace our call to preach the love of God “using words if necessary.”
(It is here that I will share a personal story which if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit would have remained part of my private faith life.)
Two days prior (the Friday after Ash Wednesday) I went to my local church for morning mass. I did this for two reasons:
1. To observe a Lenten practice of attending daily mass. (This is a good discipline for someone whose attendance at mass is a job requirement.)
2. To begin lent by going to confession.
Here’s what happened.
I am sitting at mass worrying, “Am I really going to bother this priest and ask him to hear my confession?” “What if he needs to leave quickly to visit people or go to other duties? “What if he begins his day off after Friday morning mass? After the final blessing the priest looks up and says, “If anyone wishes to go to confession, I’ll be going to the confessional on the right side of the church.” I thought to myself; “HOLY………Spirit!”
Our closing song for these first Sundays of Lent will be “In These Days of Lenten Journey.” (#127) I picked it because it calls us to hear and respond to the call of the Spirit in our lives and be God’s mercy to those around us. I invite you to allow these words to take root throughout this Lenten season. The possibilities of what might grow are limitless.
Wishing you a life changing lent,
I told my confessor that his offer was nothing short of the Holy Spirit working through him and the answer to my prayers. His response was the inspiration for and the title of this article.