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Be Where You Are

First Reading: Acts 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the Apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Gospel: John 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,
and they began to be afraid.
But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading.

NAB

DEV_A9

I think I would have made a really good nun. Not that it was ever really an option, because I wasn’t Catholic growing up, but often I find myself wondering why God called me to married life rather than to the contemplative life. Maybe it is just me being wistful . . . when I am stuck in the madness of growing family and demands of home life . . . to think “ah! I should have been a nun.”

It isn’t that I am unhappy in my life as a wife and mother, but it’s challenging to carve out time to go to the bathroom let alone take time for silent reflection and prayer. As I am writing these very words my seven year old is pouting that I didn’t take her to the library, oh and she is hungry, oh and she wants (fill in the blank!) and in this very moment—and I just want to write.

Similarly, there are those in our community who do feel called to married life and want desperately to have those little children begging to go to the library, but it hasn’t happened yet. And still more some of you are not sure what you are called to do. Whatever our vocation, and whatever our desires, and whatever our circumstances, this is truth: we can’t do everything all the time, yet we are called to serve, and we can serve every day in some way.

I love this reading from Acts. The disciples, so wise, of course, being filled with the most awesome Holy Spirit, saw that they couldn’t all do everything. They needed to step back and start delineating the many duties it takes to fulfill a ministry.

Learning to have peace in our vocation, while also being able to recognize when we need to make changes, is a lesson I haven’t yet mastered. Today’s reading reminds us however, that we need to place our trust in Him. He has called each of us to serve Him in a multitude of ways. Sometimes it helps to think less about the big picture (where am I going Lord, why am I here and not there?) and to think more about how we can serve Him right now, where we actually are, doing what we’re actually doing.

How can you answer His call to serve today?

photo credit

MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here

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