‘Pay Attention’ Jesus tells his disciples and us!
RCIA sessions began a few weeks ago here at Saint Agnes. Each week the inquirers, team and sponsors gather in the prayer circle to check in and pray. Our prayer includes sharing where we have seen or experienced God in the past week. Oftentimes, the sharing is slow in coming as we all ponder our ‘God moments’. Each week I remind everyone to begin to ‘pay attention’ to the ways God is being manifest in our lives and the lives of those around us. In our busyness, we often miss these moments when we aren’t paying attention and it is good to be reminded of how even the smallest incident or encounter can become a ‘God moment’.
When we ‘pay attention’ to how God is working in our life, our hearts are opened and we are challenged to take more seriously our call to discipleship. In a recent trip home to Michigan, I was blessed to enjoy many ‘God moments’ with family and friends and nature. I was also reminded of the importance of taking time to listen and hear the stories and laughter as well as the respite of a beach walk and a Lake Michigan sunset! It was easy to ‘pay attention’ and savor these God moments.
Sometimes it is more challenging to ‘pay attention’ to how God works in our life when the message is one that challenges us or calls us to do something we don’t necessarily want to do. Today, as I return to the busyness and blessedness of parish ministry, my heart is sad and my spirit is lagging as we begin the process of changing leadership in the coming months. Our parish has been blessed to have a pastor who faithfully listens and pays attention to God’s call and I have been blessed to be a part of a pastoral team who continue to embrace the gifts that each bring to ministry.
It is my prayer that in the days and weeks ahead I will have the courage and faith to ‘pay attention’ to how God is calling me to live out the paschal mystery as it unfolds before me. I pray that I will not miss the many ‘God moments’ that I know will come in transition as we say goodbye to the one who has served us so well. I pray also for a new servant leader who has the ability and desire to ‘pay attention’ to the ways in which God is calling him to lead and guide our faith community in the new year.
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.