The first sentence in today's readings makes clear precisely how Paul sees the vocation of a follower of Jesus Christ. Indeed Paul's thought is the basis for a strong, personal spirituality.
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
If we are to be servants or stewards of God's mysteries for Jesus Christ, we must take ourselves to the Lord. Why? For two reasons that help us make the journey: We need to know who Jesus is in a personal way and then what expectations result from that awareness.
The avenue to Jesus is the highway of prayer. Prayer is the only place where I can meet Jesus personally. Down deep in their hearts most tourists on Capitol Hill and many newly hired workers on either the Senate or House side of this famous hill would cherish a chance personal meeting with any one of the national leaders. I ask myself these questions as I reflect upon Paul's observation: "Do I have the same desire when it comes to my own spiritual life?" "Do I realize how important personal prayer is to personally meeting God?" "Do is I honestly believe that prayer is the principal avenue for me to meet Jesus personally?"
As with an athlete who trains the body through many exercises, it is "by fasting, by making hard choices, and by making the discovery of finding my way to silence, to poverty itself and humility" that I make myself free to the molding graces of the Holy Spirit." Through this route of spiritual formation, I meet God and become the instrument of his work.
In reality this is nothing less than conforming myself to Jesus Christ. This is how each of us can live the very mystery of our salvation. This is much more than simply possessing the mystery.
The core of this journey is taking charge of God's life within my everyday life. In this journey I come to recognize, perhaps discover for the first time, my authentic self: "the self that God knew and saw and formed for a purpose that existed before the foundations of the earth" (Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, p. 117).
When I can come to recognize the difference between my authentic self and the human striving that possess me at times, then I am beginning to be a servant of Christ and a steward of the mysteries of God!
In prayer with Jesus with think of his name. What is the picture that comes to mind? Do I have a picture of Jesus that helps me draw closer to him, to go beneath the veneer relationship that comes simply with a word?