What is your call from God? Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Hedglen   
Scripture Readings
December 21
Fourth Sunday of Advent

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27-29
Romans 16:25-27
Gospel Luke 1:26-38

I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was sitting on the floor, surrounded by my friends on a youth retreat when I was 17 years old.

A priest was reading us a story. I do not remember what the story was or who the priest was, but I do remember a warm feeling that started in the center of my chest and spread throughout my body.

As I looked up at the priest, a thought ran through my mind, “I want to be the person up front helping others grow in faith.” This was the beginning of my call to serve in Church ministry.

Over the years, I have heard many individuals’ “call stories.” Each is unique. Some are really astounding, full of phenomenological signs and wonders, while others are soft and gentle with promptings from within.

I have yet to hear one quite like the one we hear in this week’s Gospel.

No one has ever shared with me a story that involved an angel appearing or a message that they were going to be a mother, though still a virgin. But most of the stories I have heard do have a few things in common with Mary’s call to be the mother of God.

Many times people have told of questions they had when they felt called by God, their own “how can this be?” query.

And almost all of them have a very similar ending, though they do not always use the exact phrase: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Feeling that God is calling you, whatever the call is about -- a move, a new job, your vocation in life, or anything else -- can be overwhelming.

We do not know all the thoughts Mary had or exactly what she was feeling. I imagine that she was a bit overwhelmed, too.

We do know that in the end she said yes. We also know that this simple yes launched an amazing adventure full of joy, sorrow, and, ultimately, eternal life with the one she was saying yes to.

May this be true of all of our calls as well.

Mary, mother of God, pray for us.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: December Print E-mail
December Universal Intention

Christmas, hope for humanity. That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.

December Evangelization Intention
Parents. That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2014.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, January 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 29
Ascension Thursday
Friday, August 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Saturday, November 1
All Saints (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Monday, December 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, December 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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