When You Are Chosen

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 30, 32 (Morning)
Psalm 42, 43 (Evening)
Gen. 12:9-13:1
Heb. 7:18-28
John 4:27-42

When You Are Chosen

Today is the feast day for Pope Fabian of Rome who served as Bishop from the year 236 until his martyrdom in 250. Fabian, a lay person, was in the room when a papal election began, although he was not in anyone’s mind as a possibility. After thirteen days of deliberation over the names of several illustrious and noble churchmen, suddenly a dove descended above the head of Fabian. To the electors assembled, this was a sign reminiscent of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus, and Fabian was at once proclaimed bishop.

I wonder how Fabian must have felt at that moment. He did not have any aspirations to be Pope, and yet he appears to be spiritually chosen. Fabian’s election was the beginning of a new time of peace and acceptance in Rome for the previously persecuted church. He had a good relationship with the emperor, and was able to build up the structure of the Church of Rome, uniting two factions that had previously been in conflict.

When in your life did you feel unexpectedly chosen for some role or calling? Were you, like Fabian, able to step up to the plate and to bring something better to the situation? When have you built bridges and brought healing to groups that may not have understood each other? What opportunities do you have now to respond to your unique calling, or to build bridges where healing is needed?

Written by Judi Neal

Judi Neal is the founding director of the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace at the University of Arkansas (retired). She focused her career on workplace spirituality, but now is enjoying retirement, which includes more involvement at St. Paul’s, music with Ellis Ralph, and writing.

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