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As a young girl, competitive athletic teams and outdoor events were not my forte. The last or next to last chosen, I waited to hear my name called and then silently prayed that I wouldn’t prove to be a disappointment to whatever team I was put on. That is not to say that I did not recognize that I had abilities, I was just quite aware that my talents lay elsewhere. With a love of singing and dance, I had found a home in performing. Yet, with a love of learning, serving, and leadership I found other opportunities that called forth the truly unique gifts that I could offer. Imbued within my very soul, I had been chosen, not because of these gifts but to use these gifts.
I have been thinking of this story lately, the closer we move as a Church to celebrating the feast of Pentecost. Jesus who had been with the disciples, impressing upon them that he was alive and present, encouraging each of their gifts, now visibly departed. How would they continue the work begun by Christ with him no longer there to guide? Promised that they would not be left alone, that the Holy Spirit, the advocate, and comforter was to be with them they were being asked to trust and wait.
These last few months during the COVID pandemic have been challenging to say the least. Hurried moments to act quickly or respond to a concern and measured times whereby time appears to stand still. With each of these there has been the need to carve out quiet time to pray, refill and discern where God is leading me to go next. Not wanting to choose unwisely, this “reformed” perfectionist has been praying in earnest while also letting go and trusting the Spirit to lead.
In considering a pastoral approach to Mass during the initial phases of reopening our parishes, most of us understand the best way forward is to prayerfully discern, though our initial desire is to swiftly act. Surely this is what the disciples felt in the time preceding Pentecost, and even after. Thankfully, God is not finished with us yet, and there is much to be learned in the waiting and seemingly inaction.
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[caption id="attachment_172168" align="aligncenter" width="7952"] Image: Pexels.com (2018), CC0/PD[/caption]
As we look at the horizon, towards each new day, and those impending moments when we are called forth to put these feet in action, let us pray:
Lord, please send me. Open my ears and heart to hear your voice and fill me with the inner peace to tend to those things placed before me today with love, grace and joy. There is much consolation in knowing that you see our inmost being, and that we have been chosen, called and loved. May your living flame infuse in us hearts ready to follow your will and purpose.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
Copyright 2020 Elizabeth Reardon
About the Author
Elizabeth Reardon is Director of Parish Ministries and Pastoral Associate for the Collaborative Parishes of Resurrection & St. Paul in Hingham, Massachusetts; a wife and mother of three, and writer at TheologyIsAVerb.com. Her writing is an invitation to seek and create space for God in the midst of the busyness of everyday life.