Thursday, September 28, 2006

Glad to be Home?

On Monday evenings in the parish we have 'Open House'. It is a time when I am in to receive parishioners without the need for them to make an appointment. Of course it doesn't take place every Monday and we encourage parishioners to check the newsletter before turning up. Anyway, Monday this week I was returning from Spain. What with the weather causing a delay to the flight and one thing and another I arrived at 6.30pm, luggage in hand, to find a queue of people on the presbytery steps. I would have asked them to come back another time except that the first lady said' Father, it's about a funeral'. Two and a half hours later, having seen nearly everyone who turned up, I switched on the computer to check my emails (I hadn't been able to access them while I was away). There were 375 new emails and they took nearly 20 minutes to download. I couldn't work out whether I was wishing I had never gone away or that I hadn't come back! Yesterday morning I woke up feeling as if someone had hit me across the face with a cricket bat - and that was before I got a phone call at 1.20pm reminding me that I was supposed to be at lunch with a group of priests. "Sorry, I'm running late. Start without me". "But you're providing the food!"...
Twenty minutes later as the car was pulling out of Tesco's, I was thinking about the call of the apostles. Humanly speaking they were pretty disastrous before Jesus called them. I suspected they would have developed a throbbing headache as quickly as me. And then I remembered that Jesus didn't call them for what they were but for what they would become. The same is true with us. He called those whom he had chosen - because it was his will, not because of any inherent merits they may have had. With his grace they would be transformed but they had to take the step of saying yes and putting their trust in the Lord.

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