Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Today He calls us. Newman!

It's a Tuesday that feels like a Monday, a common enough occurence after a three day weekend. A little slow getting started?

Today God calls us once again, as over and over, to take up our daily work and follow Him with joy. The rewards are numerous, as today's Mass gospel reading attests:

Mk 10,28-31.

"Peter began to say to him, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and (the) last will be first."

There are many "Newmans" in this world, Alfred E.Newman from Mad Magazine, Newman from Seinfeld, St John Neumann, my parish patron, and John Henry Cardinal Newman, from whom the college ministry Newman Centers take their name.

From John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), convert from the Church of England, Priest,

Theologian PPS, vol. 8, no. 2

"In truth we are not called once only, but many times; all through our life Christ is calling us. He called us first in Baptism; but afterwards also; whether we obey His voice or not, He graciously calls us still. If we fall from our Baptism, He calls us to repent; if we are striving to fulfil our calling, He calls us on from grace to grace, and from holiness to holiness, while life is given us.

Abraham was called from his home (Gn 12:1), Peter from his nets (Mt 4:18), Matthew from his office (Mt 9:9), Elisha from his farm (1 K 19:19), Nathanael from his retreat (Jn 1:47); we are all in course of calling, on and on, from one thing to another, having no resting-place, but mounting towards our eternal rest, and obeying one command only to have another put upon us.

He calls us again and again, in order to justify us again and again, - and again and again, and more and more, to sanctify and glorify us. It were well if we understood this; but we are slow to master the great truth, that Christ is, as it were, walking among us, and by His hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us follow Him.
We do not understand that His call is a thing which takes place now. We think it took place in the Apostles' days; but we do not believe in it, we do not look out for it in our own case. "

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