Sunday, December 13, 2015

Joyfully Gifted at Baptism





The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudette Sunday – the liturgical day of the year we light the pink candle and recall the concept of joy in the world. 

Zephaniah tells us to rejoice and be glad with God our Savior, to sing, dance and exult God with all your heart.  In the Gospel, John the Baptist is preaching to those who were at the river about what to do now that they are baptized.  Interestingly, first he addresses everyone to share what they have to anyone who comes along in need.  Next, each according to their profession tells them how to conduct themselves in business dealings. John the Baptist is trying to teach them how to live their daily lives as God would want.

Today, Baptisms are a time when a person is claimed for Christ and become a member of the church. It is a time when the community gathered, joyfully welcomes the newest member of the church to faith in Jesus Christ; to be born anew to go forth, ready to serve God through using the spiritual gifts they have been given.  Every baptized person is joyfully gifted; called to serve God as priest, prophet and king; to share one’s spiritual gifts in how we act, what we proclaim and through one’s daily lives at home or in profession, out in the world.  


Think back on your life; the time you can remember since your Baptism.  Now, think of one of your spiritual gifts; one way you are joyfully gifted.  Can you see evidence of this spiritual gift since the time of your Baptism?  Go decade by decade through your life and identify how you have used this spiritual gift over the course of your life?  Did the times you used your spiritual bring the person you served joy?  Did it bring you joy?  Today, be joyful, sing and dance with God, exulting him with all your heart for the spiritual gifts you have been given and the opportunities you have had to serve him and bring joy to others.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Universal Call to Holiness

Universal Call to Holiness


1st Sunday of Advent

1 Thessalonians 3:12–4:2

The universal call to holiness for each and every person is notable in many writings of the church.  This call has been prevalent in particular in the writings of Vatican II and is found often in writings pertaining to stewardship today.  Using one’s spiritual gifts is one way to live one’s faith in Jesus Christ as a disciple and may fulfill in one’s life a call to holiness.

St. Paul’s prays for holiness with the Thessalonians.  “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all…so as to strengthen your hearts to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of the Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.”  But he does not end with just a prayer asking God for love for then, he asks God to work through each of them through the teachings and by the example he has left for them, to allow them to show their love for one another.  “We earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God and as you are conducting yourselves you do so even more.  For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.”  This prayer of love received by God and given to one another is St. Paul’s prayer for holiness for the Thessalonians.

As was true for the Thessalonians, in the Eucharistic prayer we use today, we continue to pray for God’s grace and love to be poured down upon us so we may continue to live this life of holiness as well.  The definition of a charism is a spiritual gift from God to be used to serve another.  Whenever we are serving God, and sharing our spiritual gifts, we are in fact sharing in the universal call to holiness as disciples who are living their faith in Jesus Christ and hopeful for his coming this first Sunday of Advent.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Time for Testimony


The Solemnity Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

 
John 18:33-37

As Jesus is on trial at the end of his life, he is asked a profound question by Pilate.  Pilate is asking for his testimony, “Are you the king of the Jews?”  Jesus wonders how Pilate ascertained this information, on his own or by what others said.  What if someone were to ask you to testify?  What would your witness, your testimony be?  Who would other people say you are?

Our spiritual practices and the use of our spiritual gifts throughout our lifetime for love of God and love of one another may point to this answer.  Would others who have witnessed your life answer the same as you?

Our spiritual gifts are used to build the kingdom of God.   Indeed, Jesus tells Pilate “My kingdom does not belong to this world” and “he has come to testify to the truth.” What kingdom would your witness point to?  Would your faith, hope and charity point to this kingdom or the next? 


As we end this liturgical year, on this Feast of Christ the King, what will your testimony be?  Perhaps this may be a moment to discern the answer to this question in light of the use of our spiritual gifts in our lives.  Now is the time to create a witness, a testimony to God and to share with others of who you say you are and to what kingdom your life is pointing to.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Consecrated

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time



Dn 12:1-3
Heb 10:11-14, 18
Mk 13:24-32

In today’s readings we hear about some of our ancestors of the past, Michael, the priests in the time of St. Paul, and the disciples of Jesus.  All were chosen by God for a particular purpose in the time they lived.  They each were consecrated.

One definition of the word consecrated is “to make, or declare sacred; dedicated to a religious or divine purpose.”  At Baptism we are called to be priest, prophet and king.  We are claimed for Christ; we are consecrated.

St. Paul explains to the Hebrews “for by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.”  We are each consecrated, for a special purpose, with unique spiritual gifts to be used for God.  As we use our spiritual gifts, we recognize the sacred.  As one uses their spiritual gifts both ordinary and extraordinary results can occur for both the giver and the receiver. 


The readings today remind us, as disciples of today, as baptized members of the Catholic Church, we are consecrated.  Because of God’s love and the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are all consecrated; we are called to use our spiritual gifts in this world.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Gift of Pastoring

The Gift of Pastoring (Shepherding)


30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jer 31:7-9
Heb 5:1-6
Mk 10:46-52

The spiritual gift of pastoring (shepherding) is evident in today’s readings.  In the reading of Jeremiah (31:7-9) we hear, “The Lord has delivered his people. The Lord says, “I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world…they shall return as an immense throng.”  He says he “will console and guide them, lead them on a level road so that none shall stumble.”

What a beautiful description of the spiritual gift of pastoring (shepherding).  In the Uniquely His book written by Sheila Mellick, she defines this spiritual gift as “the special grace to commit oneself to the nurturing, formation and growth of a group of Christians for an extended period of time.
In the letter to the Hebrews (5:1-6) St. Paul describes the spiritual gift of pastor (shepherd) as “one made representative before God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  No one takes the offer upon himself, but only when called by God” citing Aaron as an example.  A person with the spiritual gift of pastor/shepherd understands this unique call.

Finally one with the spiritual gift of pastor (shepherd) follows in the way of Jesus, gathering people around them, helping them to find faith and God’s presence in their everyday lives.  A person with this spiritual gift helps others discover a deepening of their faith.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Greatness and Servanthood

Greatness and Servanthood


29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 53:10-11
Hebrews 4:14-16
Mk 10:35-45

Today’s readings talk about serving God.  “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant” (Mk 10:44).  Using our spiritual gifts is one way we serve God.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us our spiritual gifts are to be used to serve God and for others echoing this line from the Gospel of Mark. 

Spiritual gifts and grace are mentioned often in the writings of St. Paul.  In today’s reading written to the Hebrews, St. Paul suggestions that because we have a great high priest, that is Jesus, the Son of God, we can confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. (Heb 4:14-16)


Turning to Jesus for mercy and grace is a good way to gain timely help and strength for enacting a spiritual gift.  Talking to Jesus is a way to listen for what you are being called to do.  So that as disciples we may be like Jesus in sharing the grace God has given, the mercy received and the Holy Spirit to give our lives for many as we use our spiritual gifts in this world.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Gift of Prophecy

The Gift of Prophecy



In today’s first reading the story tells us about the 70 leaders in Moses’ group who were bestowed the spiritual gift of prophecy and immediately began using it.    In addition, two others Eldad and Medad who were not in the camp also were given this gift and began using it as well.  But a young man observing these other two, questioned Moses as to whether they should be doing this.  To which Moses answered him, "Are you jealous for my sake?  Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!  Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"

God gives each person unique spiritual gifts recognized in the Sacrament of Baptism.  The church in this rite calls each to be priest, prophet and king in using our spiritual gifts in order to show others how to be the way, the truth, and the life in being a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Our spiritual gifts are given for the good of others; and in faith communities we can encourage one another to go forth to use them. 

The young man in the story of Moses, questions why other people are using the spiritual gift he understood was given to Moses.  But Moses reassures him that God bestows spiritual gifts to everyone.  Moses encourages the use of the spiritual gift of prophecy by those who have received it and even hopes that God may pass it on to others. 

Like the thinking of the young man, sometimes people can be jealous of the spiritual gifts given to others and wish it for themselves.  God gives each their own unique spiritual gifts to be used where they are at and for the service at others.  God calls forth the spiritual gifts for each person and each community as needed.  In the case of Moses, it was prophecy and Moses lets the young man know it is good the spiritual gifts are being used and hopes that God may bestow his spirit on them all.


In an address to the general audience in Rome on October 1, 2014, Pope Francis encourages us in our spiritual gifts tells us they are abundant and to be used.  “As a sign of God’s superabundant love for his children, they (spiritual gifts) are rich and varied, yet each is meant to serve the building up of the Church as a communion of faith and love. The very diversity of the Spirit’s gifts invites us to share them generously for the good of all, and "never to let them become a source of division”. Today let us ask the Lord to help us recognize with gratitude this great outpouring of spiritual gifts which enables the Church to persevere in faith, to grow in grace and to be an ever more credible sign and witness of God’s infinite love.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Perspectives

Year B – Palm Sunday 
March 29, 2015



Mark 11:1-10
Isaiah 50: 4-7
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1-15:47 

Can you even begin to truly imagine the experience of being present on that original Palm Sunday? So many sensory experiences were converging in one place, at one time! So many people traveled and gathered and witnessed the same events, yet came away with very different understandings and perspectives about what they had experienced!

Each reading today contributes some insight into the varied understandings and teachings known to the people gathering in Jerusalem that week, and the gospel readings provide us with a wide range of the voices and perspectives present as that Holy Week began. Still, it’s hard to even begin to fathom what it might have been like to be alive and experiencing it first hand.

How important, then, is the spiritual gift of discernment?

The charism of discernment, in the Uniquely His spiritual gift inventory tool, is defined as “the special grace to intuitively sense or recognize what is of God, or human origin or not of God, which turns out to be accurate.”

Many possess the spiritual gift of discernment and joyously share that gift through ministries and leadership; from spiritual directors to counselors, prison and outreach ministries to healers. People are found whose sharing of the gift of discernment empowers the whole faithful community to embody the loving presence of God in all creation.

Moving through the events of Holy Week, we are called to attune ourselves to this spiritual gift in particular. For it is not only in the time of Jesus we find ourselves surrounded by clamoring voices, noisy crowds, and values competing for our attention.  As we practice, hone and cultivate the spiritual gift of discernment, we come to see more clearly and intuitively that which is of God, which allows us to make more deliberately loving, generous, hope-filled choices in the imitation of Christ.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Openhearted Leadership

Year B – Fifth Sunday of Lent



Jeremiah 31: 31-34

How beautiful are Jeremiah’s words in today’s first reading, prophetically describing the charism of leadership? It’s a vision of leadership where the law is inscribed so deeply on the hearts of the faithful that all who know them will be inclined to follow in their ways of knowing and loving God.

So many models of leadership are known in our world, many of them with real validity and credibility across various aspects of life. We can all bring to mind people who are known, for better or for worse, to be leaders. Corporate leadership, educational leadership, church leadership, family leadership, team leadership, each of these (and many more we could include) carries with it specific terminology, practices and definitions, to be sure. Ultimately, however, true leaders in any arena of life reflect what Sheila Mellick’s Uniquely His spiritual gift inventory book describes as the spiritual gift of leadership:

“The special grace to share a vision or ideal with others in such a way that they desire your direction and become motivated to work together to make it happen.”

Jeremiah’s vision of leadership calls all of us who are the church today to pay attention.  How is the Spirit moving within our selves and within our communities, inviting us through the charism of leadership to become part of bringing God’s love into the world?  Whose leadership style shares hopeful vision and ideals in such a way that we are motivated to join in bringing goodness into existence? Where can we see evidence of leadership from the heart? What challenges a person to step into a leadership role?

Imagine how much more holy goodness we can bring into the world when our open hearts encourage, affirm and join with the leadership proclaimed in Jeremiah’s vision! How will you encourage that kind of leadership this week?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mercy and Kindness

Year B – Fourth Sunday of Lent


Ephesians 2:4-10
John 3:14-21


“What charism has the Lord given me?  How do I live this charism?  Do I assume it with generosity, placing it at the service of all or have I perhaps neglected or forgotten it?”  Pope Francis

How readily we are distracted! How easily it is to meander off from our purposeful vocations, so caught up in matters at hand we forget to pay attention to be faithful people of God!

And yet our God is faithful, and pours merciful love over us at all times, in all circumstances. The mercy witnessed in today’s readings from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and John’s Gospel show us yet again how powerful the charism of mercy is when it is embraced. 

“To be merciful is to experience deep empathy and compassion for those who suffer, to respond to suffering and pain with acts of loving service and assistance (Uniquely His).”  Our God’s mercy reaches so far in today’s Gospel as to see the pain of brokenness and sinfulness in the world and so love the world “that he gave his only Son.”

We are called, then, to offer such mercy ourselves in a world that clamors for healing and forgiveness, for empathy and understanding.  We are called to cultivate empathy, notice who needs our grace-filled generosity of spirit. We are called to “get over ourselves” and offer, without cost or strings attached, mercy.

This raises important questions, indeed. It’s easy to be merciful to those we already know and love.  But what about the people we don’t notice as much?  In our headlines, on our social media, in the cubicle and office and store, around our tables and in our pews, who do we see who is suffering?  Who do we see excluded?  Left out?  Whose voices are not heard?  Whose lives are unseen?  Whose lives are pained and broken?

And how do we, as a people of mercy and kindness, harness the spiritual gift of mercy to alleviate suffering?  What can be done today to offer myself as a beacon of hope through merciful, generous action and presence in the world? What kindness can be extended?  What invitation might be offered?

How can our parish family extend merciful love?  How will we live this charism, as individuals and as the Body of Christ? 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Law and Love

Third Sunday of Lent – Year B


Exodus 20:1-17

John 2:13-25

One year, I had a job proofreading law books. Hundreds and hundreds of pages of laws: lists of rules for everyone living in one of the fifty United States.  Doing this work required precision and deep attention to detail for many hours at a time. Some people glaze over at the mere thought of reading the law closely and attentively; others find it to be deeply rewarding and relevant as they set out to apply those laws to the messy reality of real life in our world.

Today’s Gospel reading sets out a listing of such laws. The story of Moses delivering the commandments echoes across our history as a people of faith. Many of us memorized them in our early religious education days, and most of us can quote at least a few of them directly from memory.

But where’s the inspiration in them? Where’s the charism? What spiritual gifts are evident in such a listing?

Two things come to mind:

First, where would we be without the people whose charisms include knowledge?

This spiritual gift consists of “a special grace to seek, collect, organize or analyze information or data to effectively advance the good and growth of God’s people and the mission of Christ” as defined in the booklet, Uniquely His.  The people whose gifts include knowledge bring the entire Body of Christ the form and infrastructure that allows us to stand on structures and foundations of consistency and strength.

The ability to further engage law and knowledge with wisdom, to bring deep perspective and meaningful practice of knowledge into the world, gifts the Church with the ability to be an organized and connected group of people who strive to practice together the mission and vision of God’s presence in our world.

Thank goodness for the people with knowledge as their charism, for they are the structurers of our practices as we strive constantly to embody the loving presence of God!

Secondly, we find in Jesus’ example a new covenant and a new perspective on the law, as witnessed in today’s Gospel reading.  Those who are overly zealous for fulfilling the letter of the law are called to task as he reminds us the law exists to bring fuller meaning and love to the world.  His call to cease making his Father’s house a marketplace reminds us of the spiritual gifts of wisdom, hospitality and true intercession requiring not costly false sacrifices, but faithful prayer that moves mountains.

Who do you know who embodies the spiritual gifts evident in the readings of today?  How can you affirm those gifts and call them forth for service to the greater good of your community this week?



Thank you to Paula Kampf, Retreat Facilitator for the Joyfully Gifted program in the Diocese of Cleveland for contributing this week’s blog post. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Faithfully

Year B – Second Sunday of Lent
 



Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18, (26B)
Mark 9: 2-10


“You’ve gotta have faith,” we hear echoing across our lives.  Whether it’s a pop song, a professional sports team chant, a catchphrase of self-help, or a prayerful mantra, we strive to be people of faith when we hear those kinds of words.


Today’s readings push us to really consider the spiritual gift of faith as it shows up in our lives and the life of the Church. To many of us, faith is fine until it is challenging, right?  Abraham withholds nothing, not even he who he most loves on the earth, as he trusts in God, faithfully.  Peter, James and John witness a transfigured Jesus, seeing their friend and teacher in a new light even as they continue to question and wonder just what “rising from the dead” might mean.

The charism of faith is defined in the Uniquely His book by Sheila Mellick as “The special grace to have such great trust in God and belief in his will in a given situation that one acts in faith or obedience without concern of the outcome.”

As we consider the experiences of the faith-full people in today’s readings, we are invited to examine our own charism of faith. In what situations of life so far, have you leaned in and actively chosen to trust fully in God’s loving presence in your life, without concern for the outcome?  How are you challenged to practice the charism of faith in some aspect of your life today, or this week?

In the Joy of the Gospel document, Pope Francis uses the words “mysteriously fruitful” to describe a world in which disciples and churches are fully embracing their charisms.  When we embrace and practice trusting in God in our daily lives, we plant the seeds of faith that carry the hope of “mysterious fruitfulness” in them. Imagine the harvest that can grow from such faith and cultivation!

Where will you plant and nurture seeds of faith today, believing in God’s abundant fruitfulness at some future point? 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Forty Days to Fulfillment

Year B – First Sunday of Lent


Mark 1: 12-15

In today’s Gospel reading, we accompany Jesus into the desert, driven by the Spirit to spend forty days in temptation, among wild beasts, ministered to by angels.

In the weeks ahead, we mark forty days together as a community of faith: our own journey into the desert where we will strive to become more like Christ both individually and as a people of faith.

During this Lenten season, we remain resurrection people.  Without hope of new life, our Lent would mean nothing, of course. So today we do well to ask ourselves questions to clarify what these forty days will mean to us.

What spiritual gifts have I been given? How am I going to use these forty days to bring them to fulfillment?


What spiritual gifts does our parish community most need at this time?  How can I contribute my own spiritual gifts to build up our community through these forty days?  Who needs my gifts?  And whose gifts do I need?  How will we, as a community, humbly call forth each other’s gifts and share our own as we travel toward our Paschal celebration?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Humility

Ash Wednesday – Year B


Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18


As the Lenten season begins, we are marked with ashes once again, a sign of humility, a call to repentance, a reminder that “you are dust and unto dust you will return.”  The ashes of this day remind us of the words we hear in Matthew’s gospel, words calling us to remain humble in our lives of faith.

This may feel and sound rather contrary to our sense of being joyful gifted.

On the surface, it might seem to be the case. But truthfully, they go hand in hand. We know from all learned about spiritual gifts they are to be used for a greater good, intended to be opened and shared, not hidden and hoarded, nor used for personal gain. In that regard, then, our joyful giftedness is a humble giftedness, indeed we turn away from selfish gains to serve each other and our God.

On this same day, our tradition invites us to “give up” something for Lent.  A fine question comes to mind as we make our Lenten commitments in light of the joyful gifts given to us by God. What keeps me from living as a joyfully gifted person? What distracts me? What gets in the way of my sharing the gifts God has given me? As I begin this season of humility what will I give up to freely and joyously share those gifts in the days to come? What will I practice to open my heart to being joyfully gifted for the good of God’s creation?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"To Do List"

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B



1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1


“Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God,” St Paul preaches in his letter to the Corinthians read today.

In whatever we do, from the daily routines of eating and drinking to the extraordinary choices we might make to share the love of God with those we encounter, we are called to do everything for the glory of God. 

How blessed are we, then, to live with awareness of our own giftedness and vocation, a time when we recognize the giftedness in each person we encounter?

“Churches must communicate the importance of the laity’s witness and service within the family and within the professional, social, political, and cultural life of society.  An effective parish will help its members make the connection between worship and work, liturgy and life in the family, community and workplace,” is an important statement on using one’s spiritual gifts from 1995 USCCB Document, Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium.

This holiness, this glory of God, is not simply for the ordained, the formal leaders of our parishes and of the Church, it is the call of the laity as well.   We are all called to live our gifts and to share them with others in everything we do, all day every day, as people who share in the life of Christ.

Choose some reminders this week, some visible signs to remind yourself, you are called to make connections between worship and work, between what we hear in these liturgical readings and how we live in our families, communities, and workplaces.  Mark your calendar, or leave a note on the bathroom cabinet to remind yourself, your charisms give glory to God in every choice you make, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do” each day.

How will you allow your spiritual gifts to bring the joyous and Good News of Jesus Christ to life in your part of creation today? And, all week long? 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Living Purposefully

Year B – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Mark 1: 29-39

“For this purpose I have come,” Jesus declares in today’s Gospel reading, as he moved among the people, making them whole through his various ministries.

What clarity!

In whatever he was doing, with whomever he was interacting, Jesus lived purposefully, embodying his vocation.  How often in our own daily lives can we look at our choices, actions, and decisions and authentically realize they directly reflect our own vocation and purpose?

Our charisms serve as tools and graces that empower each of us to carry out our unique mission in the world, so continuing to discern our charisms and cultivate our practices of them in daily life moves each of us closer to becoming the person we were created to be. With the grace of God, we discover opportunities each day to bring our charisms into the world, where they expand and become gifts in ways large and small bring the loving, joyous presence of God into the lives of others.

This week, perhaps each of us can say “YES” to the invitation to live our vocation more purposefully by choosing one of our own spiritual gifts to practice in a new way each day. Imagine the goodness and beauty that might shine from our communities if we were all living our vocational calls in imitation of Jesus!  How will you practice one of your charisms each day this week? 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Listening to the Prophets

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B



Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Mark 1:21-28

In today’s first reading, we hear Moses speaking  to all of the people regarding his own role as a prophet, and teaching about a greater prophet yet to come.  The Gospel reading brings us Jesus himself, “astonishing” the people with his teaching because he “taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes,” not as a mere repeater of teaching, but a teacher with a clearly prophetic voice.

The charism of prophecy is described in Sheila Mellick’s Uniquely His booklet as “the special grace to envision God’s will clearly enough to communicate a message, truth or call to God’s people, of actions needed today for change tomorrow.”  How astonishing must it have been to clearly recognize the charism of prophecy in the voice of Moses and the voice of Jesus on those occasions!

Our lives are filled, oftentimes, with noise, both literal and figurative. Voices come at us from all directions: a person we know and interact with, history, teachers, news sources, media, entertainment, the list goes on and on. Those who speak with authority too often lack wisdom; those who speak with wisdom too often go unheard.

A true charism is recognizable within each of us in a number of ways.  Our charisms are, after all, spiritual gifts, given by God to each at Baptism and strengthened by the Sacraments. A charism is used to serve God and others, and charisms have supernatural characteristics.

How do we recognize the charisms of prophecy and wisdom when we encounter them in our contemporary world?

Are we listening carefully, to hear the voices of the prophets among us? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Charisms: Sea to Land

Jesus Calls the Fisherman




Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 1:14-20

“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Jesus says as he calls Simon and Andrew, the fisherman to follow him, to change their walk of life from fisherman to discipleship.  Many people have wondered why Jesus called the fisherman.  Many ask why the fisherman followed. There have been multiple answers to this question over time, but perhaps the answer lies in looking at the scripture in light of charisms; the spiritual gifts of Simon and Andrew. 

We know that God has gifted every person with at least one charism.  Each person’s charisms are used on a day to day basis in their everyday life, wherever they go to work, are at school, at play, or in community.  Everywhere and anywhere a person goes, their charism is with them.  Therefore a charism can be used at any time.

Knowing this about charisms, let’s go back to the fisherman, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.”  Here Jesus sees the charisms of the fisherman, the charisms of Simon and Andrew.  The charisms that they have been using at work, are the same charisms that will help them gather new disciples.  Perhaps Jesus saw the spiritual gift of leadership, encouragement or pastoring evident in their relationships with other fisherman and in the way they worked on the boats and docks.  Perhaps those same charisms could now could be used for a new role in life, “fishers of men”;  used to help build the kingdom of God.  Off the docks and onto dry land they go.

The opportunities in our lives to use our charisms are present in all that we do, at home, work and play.  We need only listen for the call of Jesus, to “come after me”, to follow him as disciple and use our charisms to build the kingdom of God everywhere we go, whenever and where ever we are called.