What does it mean to, “call on the name of the Lord?” I think that the idea that Paul has in his mind as he is writing this chapter of his letter to the Romans is to impress upon us the urgency of the call to proclaim the Good News. He has personally experienced the profound difference that placing His life under the Lordship of Jesus can bring to a person. He wants us all to experience the same sort of fire of God’s love and the power to grow in holiness.
For this to happen in our lives we have to learn to: “call upon the name of the Lord!” What does someone do when they are in mortal danger? They cry out for a saviour. We must all realise that our lives are in mortal danger due to the sin that is consuming the world and us as well! We do this by hearing the Good News proclaimed by the Church and responding to it from our hearts.
On the Feast of St Andrew, we remember an apostle who gave his life in order to share this knowledge with others. We honour a man who was so consumed by the news of his salvation in Jesus that he left everything behind him in order to follow Jesus. Andrew, the brother of Peter was a man whose heart had been penetrated by the truth of Jesus’ preaching and life to such a point that he had to follow Him. St Paul knows this same sort of compulsion. It is spoken about by the prophet Amos in relation to his own call. “The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?” (3:8) Amos tells us that God’s call upon his life is so strong that it is impossible to fight against it. Why is it like this for some and not for others? Why do some find it so easy to refuse the Lord’s will in their lives?
I think that the answer has something to do with the depth of surrender and openness to God in one’s heart. The more open we are, the deeper God’s Word can penetrate into our hearts. The deeper it goes, the more difficult it is to fight against it. Andrew, Paul and Amos each had an openness to God that paved the way for their ministries. Hopefully the same is true for you and for me! If not, perhaps we can begin to look for the things in our lives that cause us to shut out God’s transforming Word.
Do I daily open my heart in surrender to God’s Word? Do I ask Him to make me His own, or am I more concerned with my own agenda for life?
Lord Jesus, you are the alpha and the omega; the beginning and the end. Help me to realise that all things that are worthwhile find their origin and end in you. As this is the case, help me to find the grace to surrender my life daily into you loving hands.