May you grow in knowledge of God’s love and will for you!
Most of us are aware that God’s call to discipleship and holiness are universal no matter what our particular vocation may be: married, single, religious or ordained. The readings this weekend focus on the fact that God calls people in a personal way to serve as his emissaries in the world. Whether our service is in vocation or in ministry, we experience the power of a close relationship with Jesus when we follow him like the disciples did.
From Samuel’s story, we learn that the individual needs the help of others with experience to learn how to listen to God’s call, intimations and inspirations. Once Samuel learned from Eli how to listen to God, he discovered his vocation and became a great prophet.
In the Gospel story, Andrew’s personal quest for God led him to approach Jesus, spend time with him and then bring others to Jesus. It can easily be said that this pattern depicts what he devoted himself to for the rest of his life. Without Andrew, Peter and the other Apostles, we wouldn’t have the faith we have today!
As a people of faith we understand that God has a specific vocation for each and every person. We also understand that each person’s joy in life arises from living out God’s particular plan at the personal level. Living a vocation in communion with God is true personal fulfillment. Living a religious vocation is a fulfilling adventure and discovery of an incredible treasure!
God is calling men and women to serve in religious vocations today! The faith tradition of the Church depends on their readiness to listen and follow God’s call.
Those who are being called need the help of frequent prayers and encouragements. Our families cultivate religious vocations by teaching their children to esteem God’s will first in all things. It is in the home that children first learn to pray and listen to God. Those who sense a call should not ignore it or make excuses but should explore it more deeply because it leads to the personal fulfillment that God wishes for that person. Following Jesus in a religious vocation today is not easy, it never was. Many people are called to a vocation of married life and being parents. For some, it is the ordained or consecrated life in ministry. Whatever call we receive, we should respond not with doubt but explore it more fully to be sure. Once we have some level of certainty, we can follow with more confidence in vocation and in ministry. Remember, whatever vocation a person receives, it is from God and it is the greatest joy for the person to live the vocation that God has for them!
May God bless you with peace and joy! +++ Fr. Peter