Ex. 3:1-8a, 13-15; 1 Cor. 10:1-6, 10-12; Lk. 13:1-9
At the age of 13, a peasant girl who lived France began to hear voices, which she determined had been sent by God to give her a mission of overwhelming importance. She cropped her hair and dressed in men's clothes and travelled 11 days across enemyterritory. After 11 days she reached the palace of the prince of France. To this girl and her supporters, her mission of driving the English out of France and crowning Charles was one that was called upon her by God. This unbelievable girl who had committed her life to a call she receive was Joan of Arc.
The first reading narrates the call that Moses received. From the burning bush God called Moses. There are many biblical accounts of God's call. Noah did everything just as God commanded him (Gen 6:22). In response to God's strange call, Noah was obedient. He accepted God's will for his life. He did as he was told. Later in Genesis (chapters 12ff), we find the same "call" pattern in the life of Abraham. God determined to raise up a nation for himself, a people through whom he would work to accomplish his purposes. To "seed" that nation, God called Abram of Ur, commissioning him to leave and "go". Like Noah, Abram responded with obedience … he left and went. The same pattern is repeated in the life of Samuel. God's voice called Samuel. In obedience, Samuel heard and responded. Jonah is the Old Testament's best example of someone who not only resisted the call of God but actively opposed it. Eventually Jonah submitted to God's call and accomplished God's will.
When God called them they were simply minding their own business, going about their chosen work. But God's call intruded and turned their lives upside down. The call was never comfortable or convenient. But, when the time was right and the need was urgent, and continued the pressing business of God's purposes. He had entrusted them with a specific mission. Moses' Mission was to free His people from the bondage of slavery.
We are also called by God. We have come to the world with a specific mission in life. In today's Gospel Jesus explained this idea in the form of a parable: 'A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?'
All of us are sent to this world with a specific mission. We should not confuse our profession with our mission. We all take up different professions to earn a living. You may be a doctor; you may be a teacher; you may be a carpenter; you may be a helper or you may be an office goer. That is the profession that we follow to earn a living. But everyone has a passion at the bottom of the heart. It is our mission. It is not peripheral pleasures. It is something that underlies our existence. It is something that gives meaning to our life. It may be as small as bringing comfort to some one’s life or it may be as big as the one that Gandhiji had – to lead India to Freedom or like that of Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King.
During this season God calls us to discover our mission and pursue it.
When God calls someone God reassures him. He assured Moses all the people who sought his death in Egypt were dead. He assured him of extra ordinary powers. With Abraham's call there was a promise
Dear Brothers and sisters we are also called to a different task in life, a work never yet assigned to any other person. God has assured us of help we need to carry it out. He has never failed in providing it. Age or status will never be barrier in our way. Joan of Arc discovered her mission at the age of 13. But there are many others who discovered their mission in the late 50s and 60s.
As a responsible father, as a loving mother, as obedient children, as a compassionate neighbour, as an understanding colleague, as a tolerant citizen we can discover our mission and respond to the call of God.
May God bless you.