This Child is Destined

I was in confession when the priest suddenly said, “Are you a blogger?” It’s not that he recognized my name, which I did not tell him, nor did he recognize my face; I was behind the screen.

“Yes,” I stammered. I hardly remembered at that moment that I had sometimes written for another publication. I didn’t think much of it.

“The Lord wants you to write,” the priest said. “For your penance, I want you to put all your effort into the door that the Lord has open for you.”

I went out of the confessional that day in a kind of stupor. I was “astounded,” as the Scriptures often say of those who encountered the power of God. And then I sat down in the pew for Mass. At the time of the Gospel, I listened in wonder to the story of the Presentation of the Baby Jesus in the Temple, which we hear every year during the Christmas season and on February 2nd. 

Luke 2:33-35 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Filled with the Spirit, Simeon spoke words over Jesus and Mary of their identities and missions in this life. Jesus would be the One choice for every person on which salvation would be either won or lost. His triumph would come in a way that contradicts the human concept of victory. Mary’s heart would be filled with sorrow, but hearts would be revealed through hers. 

My life is not going to impact the world to the degree of Jesus and Mary. But a priest, filled with the Spirit, and from behind the screen of a confessional, spoke words over my identity and mission, too. The Lord said, “This child (Norine) is destined to write.”

Has anyone ever spoken to you like that? Have you ever heard what the Father says He made you for? I am amazed that I received such a glimpse into what the Father thought of when He made me. “This child (Norine) is destined to write.” And maybe there are other things. I don’t know yet.

Jesus was plunged into the baptismal waters. The Father declared Jesus His Beloved Son and the Spirit came upon Him as a dove. The same thing happened to you at your baptism. It happens every time you encounter the Lord in a sacramental way. The Father tells you He loves you. He declares you a daughter or son. The Holy Spirit alights and gives you gifts unique to your identity and mission. You present yourself to Him, and He speaks of your destiny.

Would you like to hear Him speak? I’m going to pray with you as you ask the Father what He made you for. How will He tell you? Through a priest? Through someone else? Through a word that pops up in your reading or a line in a song? The Lord has no limits on how He wants to reach you. Are you excited? The Father holds you in His arms as Simeon did. The Spirit speaks over you, “This child is destined...”