Lk 1:26-38 The Call
After completing Spiritual Exercises back in May of 2007, I flew back to Dallas via Atlanta. It was an early morning flight, 6:00 am, and I was really tired. I sat in my seat and I just wanted to sleep.
A young man sat right down next to me. He too was tired. I looked at him and immediately felt in my heart that I needed to speak to him. I knew that this was what God wanted me to do. But all too often, we hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and ignore it.
Throughout our retreat, the preacher insisted that wherever we go and whatever we do, we are always ALTER CHRISTUS. When someone sees us, they see Christ. When someone speaks to us, they are speaking to Christ. Whenever you have a chance to sit next to someone, they sit next to Christ. When someone comes into contact with us, it has to be an encounter with Christ. Not a single moment, not a single opportunity can be lost. We belong to Christ. We are “Alter Christus.”
I was tired. I heard the voice. I am ashamed to say, I did nothing. I opened up my breviary and began to pray. I read the following passages: “Give us the courage, strength and grace to build a world of justice and peace, ready for the coming of that kingdom.” “Make our light shine so brightly before men, that seeing our good works they may give glory to the Father.”
I put the breviary down and began to ask God for an opportunity to speak to this man. Then it happened! The lady next to me fell asleep. Her head was tilted against the window. When her head touched the wall, an earring fell off. It dropped on my side. I thought to myself, here is my opportunity. I picked it up and I looked at the young man next to me while I held the earring in my hand. I told him jokingly, “This is my good deed for the day!” Then I tapped the woman in front of me on her shoulder and gave it back to her. Well, she couldn’t believe it. She said, “Oh my God, thank you!” I told her, “No, just call me Fr. Alfonse.” She laughed and laughed. Then I turned to the man next to me, I took advantage of the laughter and spoke to him.
“Are you from Atlanta?” He answered, “No, I’m from New York. I have to go to
I could tell in his eyes that he was about to cry. But then he suddenly spoke up, with courage and gratitude. But God has been great to us. He has helped me and my sister so much. If it weren’t for my faith, I don’t know how I would have gotten through these past few months. I now depend on God all the time. He is my fortress. He is the greatest gift. He is my all!
I looked at him and smiled. Then I said, God is my all too! God is the all-mighty who is capable of taking the worst day of our life and transforming it into the greatest! He is all-good, all-loving, all-knowing, all-caring. I count on him every day. He is my all too!
Then we landed. He thanked me from the bottom of his heart for promising to keep him and his sister in my prayers. He thanked me for being a priest. He thanked me for the little chat.
I thanked God – the Holy Spirit for the conversation. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love! Come Holy Spirit.
Mary was quick to respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit. She heard her name, she answered the call and she changed the course of history. The Annunciation leads to the Visitation.
The most successful Christians are those who answer the call; give it their all and make a world of difference in the world around them! We are like the angel Gabriel (and the Apostles and Mary). We too have been sent by God to bring about the birth of the Lord in someone's heart.