This weekend the gospel readings used one of those words that you don’t hear a lot in modern society. “Zeal”
John 2 Verse 15 “His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for thy house will consume me.”
Being a writer I find word origin completely fascinating. Zeal comes from the Greek root word zêlos. This also happens to be the root word for jealous. If you think about it kind of makes sense, zeal or zealous and jealous, are kind of two sides of the same coin. Zeal and jealousy both stem from love. Unfortunately that is where the similarities end. Because where zeal is a form of authentic love, jealousy is a form of twisted love, if you can call it love at all, and tends to lead to anger and even hate.
But zeal is more than that. It is a love so powerful that you will stand up for what you believe in. It means you are committed, it means that you would be willing to be called a zealot with all it’s negative connotations, because you love what you are supporting so much.
Up to this point, a lot of what I have said was taken right from our priest’s Homily this week. So Thank you Father for putting it so clearly. But at this point I am going to diverge from what he said and get a bit more personal.
For a number of years I have felt like there was something missing from my life. Something that I was supposed to be doing that I was not. I have never really been able to put what it is into words, but in the last year or so it has started to at least become clearer. I have sort of a vague outline of what it is that I am meant to be doing. This weekend sitting in the pew, was like putting a pair of glasses on. Maybe not my glasses because I don’t know for sure what it is that I am to but let’s just say I think it has a lot to do with the idea of zeal. In particular the idea of so called “missionary zeal.”
To my wife and one else who I am sure is a little worried about that statement, that does not mean I plan to run off to Africa or anywhere else and be a missionary, it just means having that kind of a force guiding my life.
Two phrases that have I heard echoing in my head in the last two years have been “Thy will be done” Obviously from the Our Father, and “I am the hand maiden of the Lord” From Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel. They are both saying the same thing, I put my life in Your hands. I don’t know what God had planned for me, but I think I now might at least have a path to follow.
2 thoughts on “Zeal”
I cannot wait to one day read it when you find out, “What God has planned for you?” I cannot share something God asked of me last summer, but this is what I did. You know when you think you are hearing God, but not quite sure?? I asked Him for a sign, if this is what He really wanted me to do? I am a dog lover, (well any animal) so God told me, “I will send to you a stray dog.” Three months went by, nothing!!! I did not make a move until I got that sign. Then in August there she was, a skinny, pregnant, starving, flea infested, and thirsty chocolate lab. (Which happens to be one of my favorite breeds of dogs.) Now I have two of them:>) I first sight I did not know what I was going to do with her, at that moment God said, “Remember when I told you I would send you a stray dog?” From that moment on, she has been mine. God Bless, SR