Baptism of the Lord (January 9, 2017)
Today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. This event marks the beginning of his ministry. St. Francis de Sales notes that God also calls us to service even with our flawed natures:
Our Savior’s unfathomable ways of calling us to His service are so lovely and varied. When we have a firm and steadfast determination to want to serve God in the way and place where God calls us, we then have a true vocation.
While we are firm in our perseverance to serve God, we still commit faults. We may also hesitate in our resolve to use the means given us to serve God. We are all at the mercy of our feelings and emotions, subject to changes and ups and downs. We are not to worry if we sometimes experience feelings of distaste and discouragement in responding to our call to serve God. It is normal to experience these ups and downs. Even though we are not exceedingly virtuous, we are still fit for God’s service. Yet, we must stand firm in the midst of changing moods. Some virtues for the most part can only be practiced amid difficulty. It is our will - not our feelings and emotions - that must judge the firmness and steadfastness of our commitment to love as God desires us to love. It is this struggle of the will to persevere that determines our commitment to serve God.
A good musician has the habit of testing the strings of his instrument from time to time to see if they need tightening or loosening in order to render the tone in perfect harmony. We too at times need to examine and consider all the affections of our soul to see if they are in tune with the wishes and commands of Our Savior. Let us strengthen our fervor, by reaffirming often our commitment to be God’s children who are called to love divinely. Live courageously and faithfully to the original stirring of your heart to serve God, and you will be happy.
(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)