By Fr. Erik Esparza
So much wisdom is gained by means of the Holy Scriptures. It is through the very Word of God that we are challenged, encouraged, inspired, uplifted, confronted, and moved. Where is the Word of God moving you?
You see, Scripture calls us to MOVE! God’s word does not call us to settle nor to consider work is done. Scripture through the movement of the Holy Spirit calls us to action. The action that God calls us to is service: to serve God and to serve one another.
You cannot serve the Lord with one foot in and one foot out. Often times this is easier and many would rather do so, but this is not discipleship. Scripture says you cannot serve two masters, you will either hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other (Mt 6:24). When a decision is made to serve, we must do it clinging to the Lord with our whole heart. “My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of adversity. Cling to him, do not leave him, that you may prosper in your last days” (Sirach 2:1-3).
I have witnessed on numerous occasions children clinging to their parents. The parents can’t go anywhere without their child being so close to them and following their every move. One definition of the word, cling, says to have a strong emotional attachment or dependence. This is the type of relationship we are called to have with God. A dependence on God that calls upon us never to abandon His embrace no matter the cost! This means whether things go our way or not, whether we feel happy or feel sad, whether it be in good times or bad times. The Scriptures remind us when we follow and serve the Lord there will be challenges and difficulties. There will be moments when we feel humiliated or just plain, beat up. There will be times when things are not meeting our expectations. Nevertheless, God’s word encourages us not to give up or turn back, but to move forward with hope and trust in His presence and faithfulness.
Commitment in any form requires being sincere of heart and steadfast. It requires us not to become distracted nor impatient. It is having an awareness that situations will arise that will cause us to waver and ultimately test our commitment. Yet, through it all we cannot be consumed with the pain, anger, resentment, sadness or disappointment of the moment. No, it is in those trials that we are invited to cling even tighter to the one who asks us to trust and to hope. To cling to the one who is faithful! To cling to the one who is compassionate and merciful! To cling to the one who forgives us of our sins and saves us in times of trouble! We must remain faithful and cling to the God we serve!
Now go forth and be a joyful witness!
Fr. Erik Esparza is Associate Director of the Office of Priest Personnel in the Diocese of San Bernardino.