When was the last time you wanted to try something new?
Maybe it was a new food or drink? Or you were planning a trip to a new destination? What about a new job?
But how often do we raise our hands and get out of our comfort zones to try a new ministry in the Church?
God calls us in ways we don’t expect.
Mary is a wonderful example. When she was about 14, God chose her to be the mother of His son, Jesus Christ.
Talk about a shock. Imagine how Mary must have felt receiving that news.
But Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation? “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Then she embarked on her journey to visit Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, and she stayed there about three months.
In January I wrote about surrendering to God’s plan for our lives and how everything that happens is part of our journey. God doesn’t make mistakes. He knows your gifts, and it’s our purpose to use those gifts for His glory.
HEARING GOD’S CALL
I’m very open about how I was laid off my sports journalism job almost seven years ago. Clearly that did not align with God’s purpose for my life. If I would’ve still been a full-time journalist, it’s unlikely I would’ve had time to try a new ministry this year.
Here’s the story.
I’ve been a lector at Mass for nearly 20 years, but in August I added something new. After our parish priest repeatedly asked for volunteers for Our Lady of Good Counsel’s religious education program, I dove in.
The first step: Take the hint.
The more you feel ” a gentle tug” inside you, don’t ignore it. Consider it God’s call.
Looking back at summer 2021, I would’ve kicked myself if I would’ve passed up the chance to be a religious education teacher.
Wednesday afternoons from 4:30-5:45 (plus prep time) are some of the highlights of my week. It’s a chance to not only deepen my knowledge of the Catholic faith I’ve held since childhood, but also to hold real discussions with the Confirmation candidates.
I express to the students why it’s critical to have a relationship with God because He will never abandon you. I quickly discovered most of the kids aren’t exposed to regular prayer at home. They don’t know the basics like mysteries of the Rosary or Order of the Mass. Therefore, my co-teacher and I mix in our own personal stories and group discussions along with required lessons to bring them closer to the Catholic faith we hold dear.
Last week before Ash Wednesday, a vibrant college student from Cowboy Catholics spoke to our class. It had been a goal of mine to get a guest speaker closer to the students’ age to address their struggles and talk to them directly.
I sat there, in awe, listening to this student talk about how he was growing a Bible study at his fraternity … praying that these Confirmation candidates would be as grateful as I was to hear his wisdom. It wouldn’t have happened if I wouldn’t have heard – and listened – to God’s call.
Lent is a perfect time to reflect on how we can try a new ministry.
As we begin this season of renewal and repentance, let’s think about ways to invite God into our lives more fully.
Here are what I liked to call the big 3:
Think about almsgiving. Pray about how we can serve others and try a new ministry this Lent.
The key here comes from Matthew 6:2-4: “When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the street to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
Now might be the time when God is calling. Will we take the hint?