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Tags: christ | john | matthew

Our First Vocation Is to Serve God

Our First Vocation Is to Serve God
(Calvin Leake/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 19 January 2018 02:43 PM EST

Let us consider the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 1, verse 37, "The two disciples heard what (John) said, and followed Jesus."

When a mother pokes her head out the door of her home and calls out, "dinnertime!" the children come running. They know that mother expects all who hear her call to hightail it into the house. Everyone in the household is expected to heed that call.

God’s call may be compared to a mother’s dinner call. It may be directed to you, but God also expects to find others who hear His call. Each of us is called individually — but none of us is called alone.

Today’s Scripture shows that the call to follow Christ is also a call to togetherness with others. The initiative is God’s. God values each and every person. Once you recognize that you are of divine worth, you must also recognize that all people are of divine worth, that all people truly are your sisters and brothers.

To accept God’s call, then, means more than accepting a personal or private commission. Rather, it means accepting a life of solidarity with others. Notice how, in today’s Scripture, that John the Baptist directed his disciples to follow Christ, and that one of the disciples, Andrew, directed his brother, Peter, towards Christ.

You can test whether or not you are really responding to the call of Christ by the way you act in relation to others because Christ commands His followers to love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34).

Ask yourself, "When God calls me, does he find a person committed to serving others?" If the answer is "No," if you see your call as some sort of narrow selection, not involving others, then you have not really responded to the call of Jesus who insists that "whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me" (Matthew 25:40).

Too often we relegate the term, "vocation"  to the special call of priests and ministers of the Gospel. The rest of God’s people have jobs or careers or trades, but not "vocations."

But, vocation means more than ministry or a particular job, career, or trade. Vocation means responding to the call that God extends to each of us in our walk of life. It means embarking on a lifelong journey of love and service that issues in solidarity with God and with others.

The specific way we respond to that call as a priest, nun, carpenter, lawyer, businessman, physician, office clerk, laborer, or even a married or single person is a matter of personal choice. In a sense, the job or position in life is secondary. What is primary is that each of us serves God and our fellow man in our own state of life.

When we do this we build up God’s Kingdom by serving him in different ways. Wasn’t that what the Epiphany last week taught us? Like the Magi, we use our own gifts, no matter how great or small, to serve the Lord.

Everybody has a vocation to serve God and humankind. But each vocation has a different manifestation. Therein, lies the beauty of the Christian vocation, to see Christ’s love poured out in the lives and actions of others to the glory of God the Father.

May God enable each and everyone called by Christ to understand how to respond to the call in his or her own state in life.

Fr. Hugh Duffy holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hull, England. Born in Donegal, Ireland, he was ordained in 1966 in Dublin, Ireland. He is pastor emeritus of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Okeechobee, Florida, where he served for 30 years and built a new Church, debt-free, in 2013. He founded Christian Community Action (CCA) in Ireland that built housing for seniors, a sheltered workshop and bakery for people with disabilities, a community center, and an addiction treatment center. Since 2013 he has traveled across America as an Outreach Priest for Cross Catholic Outreach, Inc. Duffy’s recent book, "What is This Thing Called Faith?" is a collection of meditations with reflections for readers on the sayings of Jesus. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Everybody has a vocation to serve God and humankind. Each vocation has a different manifestation. May God enable each and everyone called by Christ to understand how to respond to the call in their own state in life.
christ, john, matthew
Friday, 19 January 2018 02:43 PM
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