Fr Timothy Radcliffe on "Hearing the Call"—
We often think that our existence is a bald fact. But it isn’t. To exist at all is to be called by God. A star would not exist if God had not called it into being. There is a lovely passage in the Book of Baruch where God sees the stars and they joyfully cry out: “Here we are! Here we are!” The stars say “yes” to God. And everything that exists – including our own apparently insignificant lives – is a “yes” to the God who calls.
What’s odd about human beings is that we don’t just say “yes” by existing; we also say “yes” with our words. God speaks a word to us and we reply with words. And that, in fact, is why we were created: to answer God’s word. This human vocation, which we all share regardless of our particular calling, is expressed in the beautiful Hebrew word hineni, which means, “here I am”. When God calls Moses from the burning bush, Moses replies: “Hineni.” When Isaiah hears a voice asking “Whom shall I send?” he replies: “Hineni. Send me.” So, the human vocation is to say “here I am” when God calls.
We live at a time when there is an awful loss of confidence in the meaning of human existence. We have no idea what the future of humanity holds, of what disasters and violence lie ahead, of whether we shall be blown up by bombs or drowned by the rising sea or fried by global warming. But when we say “here I am” to God, we recognise that we are called by Him and going to Him. ....
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