No Version Control for the Soul

We’re born into this world with full-time jobs. From day 1 we are constantly remanufacturing the best version of ourselves. As Matthew Kelly wrote in his book, The Rhythm of Life, we’re part of a divine engineering process to fulfill our essential purpose. We are truly a work in progress. Continuous improvement is not only our job, it’s our mission. In fact we were commissioned before birth. As Paul tells the Ephesians in this Sunday’s second reading (Eph 1:3-14),

“God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. … In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will.”

Our souls are destined to end up without blemish, but the bodies we’re born into provide the tools for that formation. There is no one set of performance standards for our job, and there are no 4F disqualifiers. Born with flat feet? That’s a job benefit, not a detriment. Whatever is considered a flaw or disability by human standards constitutes an opportunity to build strength by God’s. Remember, we are called to design the best version of ourselves. That means countless revisions. Even more than the iPhone.

If you try to use volumes of human standards, your job will get harder. God gave us only ten but His design gives us countless opportunities to tell those few truths. We are commissioned to tell them through our actions. Don’t let anyone tell you that’s not your business, as Amaziah tried to tell Amos in our first reading (Am 7:12-15). When Amaziah tried to set the boundaries of that mission, Amos explained the difference between a vocation (principal occupation) and an avocation (subordinate occupation):

“I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores,” says Amos. “The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

Jesus’ 12 disciples were mostly fishermen, but our gospel reading (Mk 6:7-13) tells how Jesus recommissioned them.

“Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.’ So they went off and preached repentance.”

Repentance is a daily process, yielding continuously better versions of ourselves. There’s great efficiency in this process, because the better your version becomes, the better the versions of others around you will become. Let’s pray the hackers among us will steal those plans.

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