Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 1:1-7; Luke 11:29-32)
Today’s first reading mentions two callings, two vocations. The first belongs to Paul who is called to be an apostle. The term means “one sent. Jesus himself called Paul and sent him to preach the good news of God’s love to all the Gentiles. It is a herculean task. But Paul does not proceed without assistance. He has been given the grace of apostleship, the Holy Spirit’s gifts. These include truthful knowledge, caring discernment, and convincing words.
The addressees of the Letter to the Romans receive the second calling. They are summoned to be holy people, set apart to demonstrate the same love of God. They also are graced by the Holy Spirit. They can let go of egotistic desires to care for one another. Beyond that the Spirit will bestow on them peace. They will show the world that in loving God and neighbor their greatest desires are satisfied.
We too have been called and sent. Although we may not like to think of ourselves as pursuing holiness, that is our vocation. Holiness is not pious posturing, but taking on Jesus’ ways. We are to develop his selfless care for others and his prayerful dependence on God. We are also sent into the world to tell others about God’s love. Chiefly by our actions but also by our words we transmit the message that we are cherished beyond our own merit. God cherishes us so much that He has destined us for eternal happiness.