We all readily accept the effectiveness of rain in watering the earth. I grew up in the driest inhabited continent, Australia and have seen my fair share of droughts and the wretched state of the countryside when there are prolonged periods without rain. Conversely I have also witnessed the dramatic transformation of that same land when sustained rains finally arrive. There is no more succinct and effective demonstration of the need life has for water. I wonder why we are so reluctant to give the same credence to the Word of God in terms of our faith.
The Reading from Isaiah 55 likens the effectiveness of rain on the land to Word of God coming forth into the lives of His people. Herein lies the challenge for us: to open our hearts to receive God’s Word such that our openness will result in His Word being able to accomplish its mission. In the Creation accounts of Genesis we see the power of the Word of God bringing something out of nothing and order to the chaos. It is this same effect that God wants to have in our lives with His Word today. The problem being that few of us are alert enough to the presence of His Word in order for the Word to enter into hearts that are willing to receive it.
There is almost a universal lament in today’s Church concerning the lack of vocations. Why is God not calling more men and women to the priesthood and religious life? Apart from the fact that I believe religious life is in the process of major change I do not believe that God has stopped calling people to it or to the priesthood – it is just that we, as a people, are not listening to His voice very well, or are simply refusing to respond to a call when it is there in favor or a secular vocation and lifestyle.
There is little doubt that we live in confusing and somewhat difficult times. Let us pray that God will raise up men and women who can point us in the direction of a greater openness to the Word of God and a deeper submission of mind and heart to the leading of His Holy Spirit.
How often do I ask God what He wants me to do with my life? Have I ever done this?
Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to hear your call and to be obedient to it. I pray that your Word for my life will never fall upon deaf ears.