This is the time of year when BIG change happens. It seems as though everywhere you look, you hear of someone graduating, getting married or having a baby. Parishes hear where priests are being assigned. You, yourself, might be considering a change of your own. Change is in the air, it’s healthy and it’s normal. I recently moved and it’s changed more than my job or address; it’s changed all I know and understand. I don’t know about you, but I have never fully embraced change.
I am the baby of my family. My brother and sisters grew up years ahead of me. Now that I’m older I don’t mind it so much, but back then, I resisted it. We stopped having family night because my brother had baseball practice. We didn’t go on family vacation because of my sister’s summer job or practices. I am still reminded to this day of how I told my parents, “I will live with you forever”. Now, here I am and for the first time in my life and I am embracing change. Why? Because I know God wants me to change.
Change in our actions is at the core of our Christian existence. God calls us to move; that’s what it means to “go forth to love and serve the Lord and one another”. Christ never called any of His apostles to stay put; He called them to move and to take nothing with them on the journey. At least I got to pack a Penske truck and haul everything I own. Just as Christ changed simple bread and wine, the work of human hands into His precious body and blood, God calls us continually to be CHANGED.
As I was praying through my move to Arizona away from my family, friends and ministry, I was completely overwhelmed. Four steps helped me find peace:
- Be Still – This is by far the most difficult task in the frantic world in which we live. Stillness is the only way to discern God’s voice. (Psalm 46)
- Discern – When you discern God’s will for your life, change is welcomed and not feared. When you pray for the gift of discernment, eventually you will find peace and the answer to where God is calling you.
- Trust – When you believe God gives you all things necessary for your joy, you will see God in everything. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” – Proverbs 3:5-7
- Receive – Most of us in ministry are givers. Receiving is the hardest thing for us to do. Daily mass has been my spiritual sanctuary. In receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus and His living Word, God provides me with abundant peace and living grace.
Leaving California was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I know that Christ is always pointing me forward and calling me to change. He has more to reveal to me. The Gospel calls us out of our complacency. God calls us to action and to CHANGE. Be still, discern, trust and receive all He desires for you.