"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God."
The whole goal in life is to be able, everyone of us, to say the words Paul said above, and for those words to be true. The whole purpose of creation itself, of redemptive history, of the scriptures, tradition, and the church, is to realize these potent words.
First, we identify ourselves, as Paul did. In order to do so, we must recognize our Creator-God, our Heavenly Source, our divine heritage, our divine life, and our divine future. We call ourselves by our name because God calls us by name, knows us, loves us, understands us, and appreciates us. Without us, God is not complete. Without a life fully lived, God fails to be fully expressed.
We identify ourselves even further by declaring, with Paul, that we are servants. We are servants of Jesus. Jesus was the servant of all, hence, we are the servant of and to all; to all people, to all of creation, to the loved, and the unloved, to the sick and to the well, to the impoverished and to the wealthy. Jesus met, ate, walked, fellowshipped, healed, consoled, advised, and lived with the blind, the lepers, the prostitutes, the religious, the hypocrites, the soldiers, the doctors, the laborers in the field; and so do we.
We declare our vocation - our apostleship - by living the gospel message with every breath we take. We bring, intentionally, the message of reconciliation to all people, and we seek to alleviate the groans of creation caused by humanity's own actions of waste and pollution.
We are not only set apart for the Gospel, called before the dawn of time, but also set apart to share this reality with all we cross paths with. This is our apostleship; to know ourselves, to know God, to live the life of the servant, to embrace all and work for the good of all.
May no-one, may no-thing, escape the touch of grace from our hearts and hands. May our voices, ever seasoned with the salt of the Gospel of Love, never fail to speak for the marginalized and never fail to speak for earth, water, air, and life.
Jesus is coming to the Manger; and Jesus is coming again. This means much much more than a heavenly descent from the clouds. It means the reality of Christ living in and through us, impacting the lives of all, today. It means taking a stand for who we are in Christ, living our vocation in the here-and-now, setting our affections apart from the world and placing them into the bosom of the Lord.
May the Lord arrive within the manger our hearts and live His life through ours. Advent comes to a close, the arrival of Christ comes to the common folk, and we have been called to make Love manifest.