The Reluctant servant for God
“God does not call the capable, he makes capable the called.” Prior to myself attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today, I stumbled on this passage from God’s Holy word. Colossians 1:24-28 “ Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.” This hit me to the core brothers and sisters. I have been in a personal spiritual battle that has hindered my ministry here. The devil has exploited my innermost feelings. He has blinded me with a false light and has tried to stop me from learning, reading and preaching the Living Word of God. You see, when God calls you to something bigger than yourself, the enemy of God will use all his tools that is available to him to destroy you. He doesn’t want you to fulfill anything that God has for you. He will send his Chief demons to “re-chain” you into sins that was overcome by the mercy of God. He will use people from the past to make you think of sinful times, instead of the mercy of God in your life. Yet, make no Mistake brethren, working for God is not an easy task. To follow the Word of God is to suffer as well.
The Church is the living Body of Christ on earth. Jesus has done everything on earth that we could never do. So, it begs the question, If Jesus suffered already for humanity, then why do I suffer preaching the Word of God? When we love someone, we want to share in the joys and pains. When we put God first, we are truly saying “Almighty and Ever-Living God, I acknowledged that I am a fallen creature of your creation. I have so many sinful tendencies. But because I want to share in new life that await those to do good for your sake on earth, allow me to be used in the Best way possible for your Glory.” This inner desire is called the “Conversion of the Sinner”. When you read from the Catechism of the Catholic Church Paragraph 1427(CCC 1427) “Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life.” Those who believe in God has received this baptism from their births, if they have grown up believing in God. Those who are converts to the faith, receive it later in their lives, when they accept God into their lives. But the deeper conversion is the one that comes from the heart. What it is not, is the “false sense” of conversion because it is done by force or terror. It is that deep, inner desire to convert and change your life, because you want to have God dwell in your heart!
God will do everything and anything to bring you to him. Like a lover, he will chase you and even break you (sinful habits that is) to realize that the world cannot offer you anything. I have struggled with many deep wounds, personal hurts by family. Tragic events that have happen in my life, Yet, even in the mist of all this turmoil in my life, God is still calling me to come follow him. When I was sitting in my home, I was watching TV. Suddenly, I heard a very loud and clear audible voice in my living room. “Paul, Paul why are you persecuting me?” To say that I wasn’t terrified would be a lie. I stood frozen. Deep in my inner core of my heart, I knew who the voice was. I knew who it was from. I answered in my mind (because I felt speechless) “Who are you Lord?” The voice answered back, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” Now mind you, my name is Not Paul, my name is Aaron. My name is chosen because, he was the brother of the Prophet Moses. Aaron was the first Priest of the Most- High God. I knew God was speaking to me through sacred scripture (ACTS Chapter 9). I have avoided this for many years. I didn’t want to suffer for God. I wanted an easy life and to make lots of money. I prayed but was always messing up. Prior to this event, I was very sick, even to the point of death. Yet, God in his mercy kept me alive. CCC 541 “To carry out the will of the Father Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth.” Now the Father’s will is “to raise up men to share in his own divine life”. He does this by gathering men around his Son Jesus Christ. This gathering is the Church, “on earth the seed and beginning of that kingdoms”. When you read sacred scripture, you come to understand that God is the one who chose you. It is not always the most skilled person, or the most intelligent or the most popular. He chooses those who are not seen by society, maybe has no economic status or come from a high family status. Brothers and Sisters, I felt so unworthy. Who am I to preach the Word of God? I felt like lower than an animal, because of my sinfulness. Yet, the Master has called on me.
When Satan sees you being called by God, he will attack you. I have had nightmares, seen shadows of figures, experienced bad things and even had losses as far as money, or time. Yet in all this suffering, the grace of God is enough, if you only throw yourself into his mercy. I have personally suffered during these last four months. CCC 1430 “Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.” Our lives are a continued battle for the soul. We must fight the good fight with God daily. We must not allow ourselves to get caught in Satan’s nets. We need to always work on our salvation and trust in the Mercy of God to do the rest. CCC 1431 “Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed.” Even when hope seems lost, God is powerful enough to make the crooked road in your life straight!
Let us close together with this prayer. Almighty God, we thank you for the fruits of the earth and the fruits of your Most Holy Words in sacred scripture. We thank you for the ones you have chosen to spread your words. Like Paul the Apostle, you used him even though he murdered and jailed your disciples. You used him to spread the Gospel all over the Mediterranean. You gave him the grace to overcome the temptation to sin and even gave him the strength to endure his time in prison, until his beheading for spreading your Holy Message. May I find the same courage as your chosen disciple to teach the Word of God and to present it in a way that will help truly convert others. We ask through the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Archangel Gabriel, to help us spread the teachings of Jesus to bring the entire world to God. We ask this in your name, Amen.
God Bless you all,
Aaron Joseph Paul