By Haley Buser, Mount St. Mary’s

What does it mean to receive a call that is never ending? Why would someone want to pursue our hearts amid brokenness? What is holding us back from responding to this call?

God is gently saying, 

“My son…”

“My daughter…” 

“I am right in front of you, and yet you refuse to listen to my voice. What is holding you back from me? I will sustain your entire life, come and find rest in me”. 

Receiving a call that has no end means Jesus will always be seeking your heart. He is on a constant mission to bring every single one of his children to Him. Just imagine the creator of the universe extending an invitation every day until you answer “yes”, but you keep saying “no”. Even when Jesus receives this painful decline from His child, He is still reaching for them. This never stops the constant desire for relationship, and He keeps calling every second of every day.  This invitation allows us to say yes to Jesus entering our heart and residing in every place of it. When He does this, He can forgive, heal, provide, comfort, and change your life. He wants to offer us a life of surrender. Why would we keep saying “no” to such an offer?  Simply put, we must deny ourselves and follow, we must surrender in order to receive. 

There are multiple reasons that stand in the way of opening our hearts to Him. Our sin may seem insurmountable and make us feel unworthy of being loved properly. The shame and brokenness weigh our entire being down to where we can’t accept goodness into our hearts, and we think we can never be forgiven. Some may also wonder if they are even capable of knowing God, whether that be from mistakes or lack of self-confidence. Doubt will discourage those wanting to understand if what they chose is even worth it. They will contemplate if they need God in their life, or if they are better off on their own. There are also individuals who have never experienced light before. They have been closed off to darkness and it is difficult for them to trust the change that could save them. These are all barriers that hold us back from His reaching arm. He wants to pull us to Him to experience a life full of grace, forgiveness, beauty, and sacrificial love. He wants you to specifically grow in relationship with Him. 

Once we obtain the graces God has for us, we are meant to share them with others. To be a vessel, we need to first go to the original source of goodness in order to share with those around us. It starts with saying “yes,” and then it is an unending cycle. No matter where you are in your faith, or life in general, He is on a constant mission to meet you where you are. There is no sin, no shame, no suffering, and no fear too much for our Father to heal. He is determined to know your heart in every way possible, with stains and all. He is waiting for your, “YES,” to allow himself fully into your life and to unite His suffering with yours. We might feel like we have everything in this life, but in reality we don’t have anything if He isn’t in it. 

In Luke 15:11-32, the story of the Prodigal Son illustrates a story of how the youngest of two sons chose to listen to the wrong voice. He asked to take his portion of his father’s inheritance, and squander it on a life full of empty promises. The wrong voice led him in a direction that brought only fear, loneliness, and suffering into his life. He thought it was best for himself to choose what would best fulfill him without looking at the consequences. When all his money was gone, he was left empty both physically and spiritually. It took the son to reach the lowest point to realize he needed something better for his life, which was eternal fulfillment. When he surrendered to the silence and stopped his own decision making, he finally heard the voice. That voice was calling his son back home, and in that moment, he was witnessing the amazing and saving power of God’s love. He was reunited with open arms from both his earthly and heavenly father.

We all reach a point in our lives where we feel like we’ve hit rock bottom. Sometimes we don’t know who to listen to or what to do next. This son represents many of the choices we make in our life. We turn to things on earth that don’t lead us to the proper end. The distractions around us constitute an escape for a model life that invites false purpose. This deceiving voice tricks people because it disguises itself as the ideal way. We aren’t called to conform to society’s standards, because God created us to be authentic versions of ourselves. This story gives light to the meaning of forgiveness and a fatherly response of love. Despite the actions of the youngest son and his feeling of abandonment, there was always one person that never left his side. The son only recognized this when he chose to rest in the silence and be open to someone besides himself.  He was at a point where he was the one calling for help. A lot of the time, when we reach a low part of our life we just stop and say, “I’m done, I need you, please help, take it all.” But you could reach the lowest of places, and He still is there calling your name. He’s waiting for the call back; He wants you to finally hear Him. If you have ever felt so distant from God that there’s just darkness, embrace that silence and pain. He is closest to you in those moments of suffering, and you can extend your arm to the perfect comforter who knows your heart. Our suffering can feel so immense, that a lot of the time we can’t go on. What you can’t see is that Jesus, our true source of strength, is there carrying us when we can’t do it ourselves. There is nothing more freeing than knowing you are immersed in a love that will never stop embracing. Through this, our lives gain an even greater power of authenticity. There is no hiding behind a mask, because there is no reason to cover the beauty God created. Everything is laid at His feet, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. It is shown for the world to see the witness of your “yes” to Him. There is no shame in hiding from what has kept you from fully knowing God, because He was already reaching for your hand.

Why is love the source of all goodness? To fully understand what this is asking, we look to the Cross, because that is the greatest sacrifice that was done in ultimate and perfect love. Everything is rooted in love, because it is the foundation of our entire life. As the united body of Christ, we are called to love without expecting anything in return. This is one of the toughest concepts to grasp, but we already have the one, true, and perfect love we need. Leading with the example of love that we have experienced with Christ, allows us to embody how to share that with others. By bravely answering the call to a life with Christ, it is our turn to help people say “yes” to this invitation to help transform the hearts of all. The constant call is never ending because God’s love refuses to fail. 

You are worthy.

You are loved. 

You are called. 

Answer yes to the invitation, you won’t regret it. 

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