First Reading: Amos 7:12-15
And Amazi'ah said to Amos, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom." Then Amos answered Amazi'ah, "I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, `Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 85:9-14
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky. Yea, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way.
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-10
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Gospel: Mark 6:7-13
And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, "Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them." So they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.
I'm sure I don't ponder enough that He called me. I think of my conversion and my journey of faith as totally something of my own doing—for the most part, at least. I think of myself as "chooser" and of Christ as "receiver" in terms of my love and of my belief and those things are still right, they are still true, but they aren't wholly true.
I'm sure my kids feel similarly. I'm sure they know me as someone who welcomes their love and loves them deeply in return, but they don't know the hidden mystery of the world before they came. They can't comprehend the longing and the anticipation and the excitement and the joy I experienced as I waited for them. Even before I was even pregnant I longed for them. I imagined who they would be and I dreamed of our life together. But I realize that they probably will never think of our relationship along those lines. At least not while they are still children themselves. Their knowledge of my love for them will be true, but not wholly true.
I am so grateful for the image of God's love for us that is painted over the image of family, coloring it and making it beautiful. You can be mother, father, daughter or son—which we all are—and see it. We all know our deep human intimacies can feel almost indescribable in their power, yet they will always be human. We might long for one another with a true, Holy longing, but it will always be just an imprint of the Father's longing for us.
"He destined us in love . . ." to be His.
When I look at the ones I love today I'm going to try and picture that, even just once. How much more does He love me? How long did He wait for me? How long will His love endure for me?
Forever, forever, forever.
Where is the longing in your heart for God? Do you need to ignite it? Take a small moment and ask Him to bring that love to life again.
Blythe Fike is the wife of Kirby and mother of 5 smallish kids. She homeschools and loves the quiet life in small town SoCal. You can find out more about her here.