Is God Calling YOU?
By Deacon Turf Martin
A wealthy American was being shown around the Vatican and as the Pope was in Castel Gandolfo he was taken into the Pope’s private apartment. On the Pontiff’s desk he noticed a gold cell telephone and was told that it was a direct line to God. When he asked if he could use it, he was told that it would cost a half million dollars. He didn’t call. He stopped in Vienna on the way back to the U.S. and visited the parish from where his ancestors came. He stopped by the Pastor to check the parish registers and while there he noticed that the Pastor also had a golden cell on his desk. (in Austria they are called handies) Again, he was told that it was a direct line to God and when he asked how much a call would cost he was told 12 Euros for three minutes. The stunned American said they wanted to charge him a half million dollars in the Vatican. “Yes” said the priest, “but here it is just a local call.” (The source of this story is from Fr. Tommy Lane.)
If only communicating with God were as easy for us as picking up the phone and dialing his number. On the other hand, does God ever try to communicate with you? Does God phone you? God communicates with us every day. The question is: “Do we listen?” Radio stations are broadcasting 24 hours a day. But we need to tune our radio into the station to pick up the signal. God communicates with us every day if we make the effort to tune in. To use the words of today’s Gospel,” we need to be dressed for action with our lamps lit”. (Luke 12:35)
Sometimes God communicates in ways we would not expect. In today’s Gospel Jesus said, “You too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:40) God calls at unexpected times but also in unexpected ways. For most of us, God does not come to us dramatically but nevertheless we sense God’s presence. Sometimes God can come unexpectedly in ways that we would never expect, e.g. when he helped me to walk again. Strangely, some people realized with the benefit of hindsight that when they were aware of their sinfulness and weakness and feeling abandoned by God, they were in fact being visited by God. St. John of the Cross said the cause of such discomfort is God is flooding the soul. He said when the light is not shining, the cobwebs (sinfulness) are not seen, but when the light (God) is turned on, then everything, even what is unpleasant, becomes visible. He also said this is like a nurse (God) bringing bitter medicine (awareness of sinfulness) to the soul, and the medicine is needed to get better. Another way in which God has come unexpectedly to some is when painful things from their past surfaced again which they thought had been healed. This is an opportunity to receive the grace of even more healing from God and freedom from these events. Also, some say that another way in which God comes unexpectedly is when they experience a crisis in which everything they trusted in disappears. During that time their securities vanish or are shown up to be useless and they learn to trust in God in a new deeper way. For them it really is moving from false gods to the One True God.
Radio stations are broadcasting but we must tune in our radio to pick up the signal. God communicates with us every day if we have the ears to hear. Sometimes God communicates with us in unexpected ways. Are you open to God speaking to you? Jesus said in the Gospel, “You too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:40) “There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)