“Thy will be done”….
Most of us know those words come from our Lord’s Prayer. Found in Matthew 6:9-13 they are some of the famous words spoken by Jesus during his Sermon on the Mount. They are also probably the most known words. As children, be us Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist or any other Christian denomination we all learned the Lord’s Prayers. Whether one is a frequent church goer or hasn’t been into a church in many many years- we can still readily recall all the words of the Lord’s Prayer. For those who seek a closer relationship with God or to strengthen their spiritual being- you really need pray nothing else but the Lord’s Prayer. In fact Christ warns us, “do not be like the hypocrites… do not keep on babbling” [Matthew 6:5 and 6:7]. “This then, is how you should pray:” [Matthew 6:9 et al.] and Christ imparts to us his Lord’s Prayer.
But in a largely secular society, what is God’s will?
In high school and college, I knew I always wanted to be a priest. But the feasibility of such a dream, was not a practical pursuit then. Though my heart heard God’s call, there seemed to be other pressing family and personal demands. As such, I entered law enforcement and enjoyed a lengthy and proud career. Nearing retirement, I could still hear God calling to me to become a priest. I finished my studies and am happy to finally be in a position, I wanted my whole life to be in. But God continued to speak to me, and let me in on a little secret- I had been a priest serving God my whole life!
We are told in scripture: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is to give, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” [Romans 12:6-8] “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.” [Romans 12:13]
Christ is telling us that we need not be deacons, priests, bishops or confirmed to a religious order to lead a religious life. Christ is telling us that those of us who are parents, teachers, shop keepers, laborers, police officers and firefighters and every other occupation- are also called by God to serve his people. We meet them where we are at- together in that moment of time- which may be their moment of greatest need, and we become the means by which God accomplishes his will. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received, to serve others as faithful servants of God’s grace in all its various forms.” [1 Peter 4:10]
We must all come to realize that each of has a God given gift, that will be of benefit to someone else. These gifts, no matter how small or how insignificant they may seem- may be the most important thing someone is waiting for- praying for. Perhaps it may be as simple as being that person who directs a lost motorist, angry that their GPS is not working- or we become the helpful stranger and warm smile to the frustrated shopper. These are all acts of God’s intervention and care for us. We may not know it then, but God is using us to accomplish his will. In a simple way. To ease someone’s burden, to brighten their day and just be a friend.
We are told; “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care- watching over them not because you must, but because you are willing- not pursuing a dishonest gain, but eager to serve- not lording over those entrusted to you, but being an example.” [1 Peter 5:2-3]
Let us perform those Corporal Works of Mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned and bury the dead. Let us strive to fulfill the Spiritual Works of Mercy to instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive willingly, comfort the sick and afflicted and always- to pray.
Christ reminds us: “Whoever does God’s will, is my brother and my sister” [Mark 3-35] So let us live our lives as brothers and sisters of Christ! Serving the children of God, not matter how simply. For by doing so- Thy Will Be Done!