Have you ever thought about what type of life is worthy of the Christian calling? For St. Paul challenges us today to do so. “Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord,urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.”” Each of us has been called by God. As Vatican II reminded us, each of us, all of us, has a personal call to holiness. It is not a call given only to the lucky ones, or to those who choose to be a sister, brother or priest. No each of us is called to holiness.
So what are we to do, then? What is the manner of life worthy to the call we have received from God? Fortunately Paul does not force us to guess. Worthy living is living “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”
Look at the words Paul uses. Humility. Patience. Love. Unity. Peace. It seems from his word that any time we find ourselves removed from these words, we are not living in a worthy manner.
Humility means to accept ourselves for what we are. We are human beings made in the image and likeness of God. But we are not God. A humble person knows this.
Patience, in an important sense is that awareness that not everyone is at the same place. Patience means we strive to be careful to presume we know all of the situations another person has. We are very much called to be sure we do not adapt an attitude that suggests we are superior to another. It also means that we do not sell ourselves short, since we know that God can accomplish more than we can imagine.
Since God is love, a life worhty of the call we have been given by God means that we must strive to love. St. John reminds us that to love God means to love our brothers and sisters. It means we strive in all we do to imitate Jesus whose love was so great he emptied himself for us on the Cross.
Unity and peace are those things that flow from living this worthy life. When we live this life, worthy of our call, then we come to realize that in our relationships with others we inspire others to seek God, and we find ourselves inspired by their examples as well. So today, live a life worhty of the call you have received.