by Ken Rolheiser
Called into greatness

Our sun burns at twenty-seven million degrees at its hottest point. It provides warmth, and sometimes too much heat, to the earth, from ninety-three million miles away. It contains 99.86 per cent of the total mass of our solar system and could contain 1.3 million earths within itself. But compared to God, the sun is a mere glimmer of the “inaccessible light” that is God. (1 Timothy 6:16).

St Thomas Aquinas suggests that at the Transfiguration the disciples got a mere glimpse of the transfigured Christ. Compared to that, Aquinas says, “All that I have written is straw.” Yet this God has a heart that burns brighter than the sun, and it burns for you and for me.

We need to contemplate this! God created us in his own image and likeness. He sent his son Jesus to bring his message of love to us. And just as he walked up to Matthew, looked him in the eye, and said, “Come, follow me,” he calls us today to follow him. He doesn’t ask us to be perfect before we follow. He will give us what we need for that journey.

Today God calls out to us, “Where are you?” Just as he called Adam in Genesis 3:9, God calls to every generation, “Where are you?” He called my Great Grandparents Wilhelm and Elizabeth in Russia, my Grandparents and my parents, just as he is calling you and me: “Where are you?”

God keeps calling us back from our unfaithfulness. Sometimes we get it right. Mary said, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” St John said, “What I have seen and heard I proclaim to you.” We do not need to fear. “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

As Christians we already are well equipped for our calling. We have died and risen with Christ in our baptism. The Holy Spirit dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). We can conquer through him who loves us. We can “already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ” (1003 Catechism of the catholic Church).

“The Father has already ‘raised us up with him [Christ], and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.’ Nourished with his body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day, we ‘also will appear with him in glory’” (1003).

We continue to be called into greatness. We are citizens of heaven, brothers and sisters of Christ. We worship alongside angels and Christ himself in the liturgy of the Mass. We are already precious to the Lord. Right now!

Our temptation is to fear our deaths, the end times, and all that will come to pass. But God is in control. God will not let creation be overcome by evil. Billions of Christians, pray daily, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.” The power and the glory belong to the Lord.

God has already revealed the ending to us. And is very good. Good will triumph. So let us be strong and firm in purpose. We can experience the Lord through the Word and the Eucharist. Food for the journey. And we can more boldly share what we have experienced with our families, our church and with the world.

(555 words)