Pray that you are open to God’s call in your life
“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want” Psalm 23
This weekend the church invites us to focus and reflect on the gift of vocation. Our vocation comes to us in many forms and is inspired by many expected and unexpected moments. We are encouraged to choose our vocation by our family, sometimes by our interests and sometimes, because we want to serve God who is the good shepherd. We decide to enter into a sacramental marriage, to pursue a particular work, live a single life or perhaps to live our baptismal grace as priests or religious. Whatever the vocation in our life is, we find it a bit hard to figure it out. Because it involves our very life, we want to make sure we make the best decision as we listen to the voice of God.
Once we have an idea, we become stewards of our vocation. Jesus calls us as his disciples to a new way of life — the Christian way of life — of which stewardship is a part. But Jesus does not call us as nameless people in a faceless crowd. He calls us individually, by name. Each of us — clergy, religious, layperson, married, single, adult, child — has a personal vocation. God intends each of us to play a unique role in carrying out the divine plan. The challenge then, is to understand our role — our vocation — and to respond generously to this call from God.
Christian vocation entails the practice of stewardship. In addition, Christ calls each of us to be stewards of our personal vocations, which we receive from God. Stewards of God’s gifts are not passive beneficiaries. We cooperate with God in our own redemption and in the redemption of others. So how do we know our vocation? It is a part of our Catholic way of life, to prepare our hearts to receive the wisdom and grace of God, through which we continue to discover our vocation. The way we are called to live out our vocation — in changing circumstances and various settings — will develop and grow. As active stewards of God’s grace in our life, we will be called to new tasks in the Lord’s vineyard.
This year God has called me to live out my vocation in a new way. At first, I was saddened, but then we entered the journey of Lent and of the Holy Week. I was reminded that God has done so much for me and that he did this because he loves and cares. Early in the year I was diagnosed with CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia). Doctor says that it is a slow-moving version, and treatments are available. This of course changes a lot in my life, and I am learning how to make sense of the new reality. I realize this is not what you were looking for as part of the bulletin cover, but I need to let you know, sorry about that.
I have been thinking of offering this for something good. As I journey through my vocation with the Risen Lord, I want to offer this, my new way of life, for vocations to the priesthood in our diocese and for the graces needed for the Beatification and Canonization of Servant of God Nicholas Black Elk. You and I know that God can do great things, and if he needs me, I am here. I pray he will give me the grace of many years of service to him and you, and a heart that will accept his will and the mission he sets before me to live out my vocation. Since it is May, and we are invited to journey with Mary, we are encouraged to use rosary as a way of praying for vocations. The rosary has five decades. Therefore, pray the first decade that you may grow in holiness in your vocation, pray the second decade for all those called to marriage and single life, pray the third decade for those called to permanent diaconate, pray the fourth decade for all those called to religious life, pray the fifth decade for all those called to the priesthood. At any time of the day, pray that you are open to God’s call in your life. Be not discouraged when you do not hear the voice of God right away, he will show it to you when you are ready for the answer. Thank you all for every prayer you say for me, for new vocations and for Servant of God Nicholas Black Elk. May God, in his generosity answer every prayer, you place before him and at the foot of his cross.