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“Here I am!”

We hear this phrase so often in the Scriptures. We also know that it has been the inspiration for a number of liturgical hymns throughout the ages. Yet, there is nothing to merely existing, existing has no merit, no cause, and no purpose. But, the “Here I Am!” reiterated in Sacred Scripture is about more than simply occupying space.

One annoyance of mine is a popular bumper sticker featuring the symbols of world religions configured to spell the word “Coexist”. My annoyance with this is not the message of love and harmony, but the underlying message that the best human beings can hope for is to occupy the same space without beating-up on one another. That is what the wisdom of the world? We are isolated individuals each fighting for our own existence? So the best we can do is just to “coexist” without harming one another?

“Here I am!” when spoken to our Lord declares that I am here to do more than simply “coexist” with my neighbor. I am called to make a difference in this life for the better. I am here to show the love and compassion of Jesus. I am here in this world, not just to survive, but to thrive: to show others that life is worth living, not just existing.

Our life in Jesus reminds us that we are connected to a higher calling, a way of living that gives us purpose and meaning. God has placed me here to know, love, and serve him in this life and to be forever happy with Him in heaven. The “Here I am!” we say to the Lord avails us to His will and to His service. It gives our life meaning and hope, and challenges us to show this hope to others. It is more than just showing up. It is more than just being in a Church building. “Here I am!” says I am a part of the Church, the Body of Christ, which cannot be confined to four walls.

“Here I Am!” causes me to leave myself and reach out to make a difference. It empowers me to do God’s will in this world. If you never have surrendered to His love, now is the time to stand, look to the Lord and say, Here I am Lord, I come to do your will!

Fr. Casey