Jesus called me on my cellphone

I have been watching the new TV show “God Friended Me.” As a result, I recalled a great Off Broadway show I saw years back called, “Altar Boyz.” I listened to the soundtrack recently on Amazon Music and remembered what a fun show it was. One of my favorite songs of the show was “The Calling.” The refrain was, “Jesus called me on my cellphone.” The TV show and this particular song made me think, what if Jesus tried to call, message or friend me or you? What if He tried to friend us on Facebook? 

Before anyone thinks I’m being sacrilegious or that I’m a little off, I want to be clear that Jesus hasn’t actually called me or texted me or friended me on Facebook. Nor has He contacted anyone else I know on a cell phone or Facebook. However, that thought that Jesus might message me points out an important fact to me — that is that Jesus will go to any length to call us to Him and He surely could call or message on the cell phone or on Facebook, if He wanted to — couldn’t He?

We’re all called in different ways. While I was fortunate to grow up in a loving, faithful family, it really wasn’t until later in life that I felt a real call from Jesus. I like to say that in my young life I never said no to Christ, it’s just that I never said yes either. It wasn’t until 1988 that I got the call. I’m glad that I answered. Through the efforts and prodding of my wife, I attended a weekend retreat called a Cursillo and I have to say it was a life-altering experience. Jesus didn’t use a cell phone, but it was a clear connection nonetheless. Through the people He placed on that weekend, I heard what He had to say to me — loud and clear. When I left the Cursillo weekend, I knew exactly what He wanted me to do. My work with youth today and my diaconal vocation are direct outgrowths of that Cursillo weekend.

There are many opportunities in your life to get the call or message from Jesus. He’s trying to contact you all the time. In fact, He might be calling you right now. You just have to listen for the beep, the ring, the friend request, the sound of an incoming text message or the knock. He’s asking you to go out and spread His Word to others — to do His work. He wants you to answer. Are you ready to answer the call? Diiiiinnnnnnnng!

I think one of the best opportunities to hear the voice of Jesus and what He may be calling to talk to you about is by attending a retreat just as I had. But don’t wait 36 years like I did. Besides your local parish retreats, there are many other opportunities here in our diocese to attend a retreat. For post-Confirmation young people in grades nine-12, the YES! Retreat (http://www.fallriverfaithformation.org/youth-and-young-adult/yes-retreat/), to be held in February, is a perfect opportunity to learn what Christ wants for you. For adults and young adults, an Emmaus Retreat (https://emmausretreats.com), might be the opportunity. There are other opportunities like ECHO (http://www.echoofcapecod.org/) also offered in our diocese. For college students and young adults in their 20s and 30s, there is the Seekers’ Retreat that will be held at Sacred Hearts Retreat Center in Wareham on March 1-3, 2019 (http://fallrivercampusministry.com). Take a look at one of these opportunities if you feel the call to do so.

Some of us may have other opportunities to get the call. A priest, teacher or friend might help us hear the call. Just listen. He’s dialing you all the time!

Even if you’ve answered the call, sometimes in our lives the signal fades and we can’t hear Jesus anymore. That’s what is so great about our God. Jesus will continue to call and text and call until we answer again. I guess that’s the key — we have to be the one to respond. When we finally respond, we’ll hear that crystal-clear voice telling us that we are always welcome back and He’ll tell us exactly what He wants us to do. We just have to be open to listen and then act on the call. And never worry how long you talk, roaming charges do not apply!

I’ll close by paraphrasing the final stanza of that song, “The Calling,” “He’ll fax you, He’ll beep you, He’ll even try to email your soul.” Is it your time to answer? 

Anchor columnist Frank Lucca is a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Fall River, a youth minister at St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea and St. George Parish in Westport, and a campus minister at UMass Dartmouth. He is married to his wife of 39 years, Kristine, and the father of two daughters and their husbands, and three grandsons. So blessed!

Comments, ideas or suggestions? Please email him at DeaconFrankLucca@comcast.net

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