I fear no evil; for you are at my side. With your rod and your staff that give me courage.
2 SAMUEL, Chapter 23, Verse 3-4
3 The God of Israel spoke; of me the Rock of Israel said, “One who rules over humankind with justice, who rules in the fear of God, 4 Is like the light at sunrise on a cloudless morning, making the land’s vegetation glisten after rain.”
The Rock of Israel (Hebrew: צור ישראל, Tzur Yisrael) is a concept in Judaism that alludes to God, and in Zionism and politics, to the cultural and historical heritage of the Jewish people and the foundation of the State of Israel.
God fearing leaders are life giving and not life taking for they have a Holy Fear of God. Traditionally in Judaism there are seven names given for God. The seven names of God that, once written, cannot be erased because of their holiness are the Tetragrammaton, El, Elohim, Eloah, Elohai, El Shaddai, Tzevaot.
Tetragrammaton is YHWH or I am that I am.
El simply means God and is used in the names of IsraEL, AngEL.
Elohim means He is power of powers Eloah is the singular form of Elohim.
Elohai mean “My God”.
El Shaddai means “God Almighty”
Tzevaot means “God the armies of Israel”.Names are important. Most of us remember the elementary school playground and the mean names kids called each other. Author and speaker, Kary Oberbrunner, states that we all have a secret name that the One who made us gives us. Oberbrunner said, “My name is Kary, and I have a girl’s name.” He was no stranger to mean names on the playground. He went on to say that each of us has three names:
1. Our birth name – the name assigned to us when we arrive in this world
2. Our given names – the names assigned to us as we walk through the world. These names can be positive and negative, ranging from successful, beautiful, star athlete to those names assigned by mean kids, like concentration camp victim, stupid, addict.
3. Our secret name – the name granted to us by God Oberbrunner said the problem is our birth names and given names don’t ever fill up the void inside us. We pretend and wear masks.
What would God call you? When Christ called his apostles; He revealed to some of them God’s name for them. Sons of Thunder for John and James and for Simon son of John, He called him Peter which means “Rock”.
Good Shepherd Sunday-World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Today reflect on what it took to make Christ the gentle shepherd of our souls.
"Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). The Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission "ad gentes". To be a missionary disciple means to share actively in the mission of Christ. Jesus himself described that mission in the synagogue of Nazareth in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Lk4:18-19). This is also our mission: to be anointed by the Spirit, and to go out to our brothers and sisters in order to proclaim the word and to be for them a means of salvation. Jesus is at our side every step of the way. The questions lurking in human hearts and the real challenges of life can make us feel bewildered, inadequate and hopeless. The Christian mission might appear to be mere utopian illusion or at least something beyond our reach. Yet if we contemplate the risen Jesus walking alongside the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-15), we can be filled with new confidence. In that Gospel scene, we have a true “liturgy of the street”, preceding that of the word and the breaking of the bread. We see that, at every step of the way, Jesus is at our side! The two disciples, overwhelmed by the scandal of the cross, return home on the path of defeat. Their hearts are broken, their hopes dashed and their dreams shattered. The joy of the Gospel has yielded to sadness. What does Jesus do? He does not judge them, but walks with them. Instead of raising a wall, he opens a breach. Gradually he transforms their discouragement. He makes their hearts burn within them, and he opens their eyes by proclaiming the word and breaking the bread. In the same way, a Christian does not bear the burden of mission alone, but realizes, even amid weariness and misunderstanding, that “Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, and works with him. He senses Jesus alive with him in the midst of the missionary enterprise” (Evangelii Gaudium, 266). Jesus makes the seed grow. Finally, it is important to let the Gospel teach us the way of proclamation. At times, even with the best intentions, we can indulge in a certain hunger for power, proselytism or intolerant fanaticism. Yet the Gospel tells us to reject the idolatry of power and success, undue concern for structures, and a kind of anxiety that has more to do with the spirit of conquest than that of service. The seed of the Kingdom, however tiny, unseen and at times insignificant, silently continues to grow, thanks to God’s tireless activity. “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep or rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk4:26-27). This is our first reason for confidence: God surpasses all our expectations and constantly surprises us by his generosity. He makes our efforts bear fruit beyond all human calculation.
Prayer for Vocations
God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, religious, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help us respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.