This weekend is the beginning of Vocations Awareness Week in our Archdiocese. I hope to visit a few classrooms to share a little of how I discerned God’s call and responded. We can also look to see how God called men and women in the Scriptures, and how they responded. Our word “vocation” is from the Latin word meaning “to call.” God called Moses (Exodus 3). Moses said, “Who am I?” and “What will I tell them?” and protested, “I am a poor speaker.” In short, he was hesitant, but God prevailed. Jesus called Peter (Luke 5:1-11), and Peter replied, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” What are we to make from their reluctance? I can’t say with certainty, and there’s not just one right answer, but maybe it is encouraging when we find our own vocation difficult – married, priest, single desiring marriage or not desiring it. If God was able to work through them with their uncertainties, He can work in us also.
We discern something else in the call of Andrew (John 1:35-42) and Levi (Luke 5:27-32), who immediately invite others after receiving an invitation from the Lord. Andrew tells his brother Simon (Peter) and Levi to hold a feast in his house to introduce all his guests to Jesus. This helps us to see the excitement of having an encounter with Jesus. It reminds us that living our vocation well can become an invitation to others to find life in Christ Jesus.
The Church acknowledges Abraham (Genesis 12:1-7) and Mary (Luke 1:26-38) as model disciples because of their readiness to follow the Lord’s call. Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8) narrowly misses that distinction. Joseph, too, received a call to be a husband and to be a foster-father to Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25). The Word of the Lord probably will not come to us in so dramatic a fashion, but we want to imitate their willingness to follow.
Please consider reading two of the eight Scripture passages with your children. Often the little ones see things to which we have become blind.
May we, too, come to know, love, and serve the good God.