Called Up – Good News for January 23

23 01 2010

Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

The Daily Path: Jesus has been back up on the mountain again, summoning individuals he wants on his team. This time it was Grant Desme who got the call. Grant is one of the Oakland A’s top baseball prospects in the Minor Leagues who just announced he’s leaving baseball to join the Catholic priesthood. This announcement comes after Desme was named the 2009 Most Valuable Player in the Arizona Fall League, a showcase for the games most promising talent.

Isn’t it amazing how God works? As I know from my own life, He seems to call us when we least expect it, and during those moments we are able to hear the phone ring.

Here’s some of what Grant had to say about the call:

“My injuries, I would say, would be the biggest blessing God’s ever given me. For my entire life, baseball’s been my life. I define myself as a baseball player, and when it was taken away from me, it was an eye-opener. I really started doing some soul searching of who I was and who I wanted to be, and this is where that’s led me.”

“Whenever I was able to talk to someone about God, or help someone, that made coming to the ballpark more enjoyable. I looked forward to that.”

“During my last game in the fall league, I hit a home run and proceeded to strike out twice, which was kind of ironic since that defined my career a bit. I knew there was a good chance it would be my last game, but there was no sad feeling. I figured whatever God wants is going to happen, and I’m going to pursue that.”

“I want to give my life completely to God out of love because of everything He’s done for me. Something like this is even very little compared to what He’s done for me.”

Truly, God has called Grant to the Big Leagues! I for one am rooting for him to hit the biggest home runs of his life while shepherding Christ’s flock. Somehow I know he will.

Room to Chat: Father, thank you for calling Grant to join your team. Let his actions become a signal for other young men and women to drop their nets and follow you.

My Internal Jesus – Good News for March 15

15 03 2009

Along the way I’m going to screw up. Hopefully that’s when my internal Jesus will go into action…

John 2:13-25

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,  as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,  and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables,  and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here,  and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me.  At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered and said to them, 
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,  and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.

The Daily Path: What would Jesus do if he entered my heart?  Would he be knocking over tables and chasing out the money changer that exists within me?

I think part of conversion, or re-conversion in my case, finds Christ actively inspiring us to look within for changes that can be made in our lives. Perhaps the famous “Catholic Guilt” is based on this awakening. But that brings up another important part of the process… forgiveness.

I know that I am working to live a more holy life. When I say “holy” I don’t mean that I’m going to become a Trappist monk. However, I do want to live a life that is more pleasing to God. In doing so, I’m not trying to constantly scourge myself. What I aspire to is being aware of my behavior and accountable for what I hold to be important in my life. Along the way I’m going to screw up. Hopefully that’s when my internal Jesus will go into action. But I can’t dwell on this (guilt). I have to recognize what’s going on, work to change it, then move on. My definition of “moving on” is asking God for forgiveness then forgiving myself (rebuilding the temple).   

Room to Chat: Want a true test of your ability to live Christ’s teaching? Become a youth baseball coach. Oh, it’s NOT the kids that drive the quiz… it’s the parents. It just occurred to me that I should start a little conversation with God as walk to the field before each game. “God, please help these sorry excuses for parents…” Ouch! Hey! Jesus, I was only kidding. Put that chord away! 😉