In this week’s readings we are challenged to vocation. We are invited not only to pray for vocations, but to pray that our particular vocation will be lived out according to God’s will. We often think of vocations as being for the ordained; however, there is only one vocation: the universal call to holiness lived out in four distinct but related ways.
All people begin their vocation as a single person. Some remain single for a short period of time; others for their entire lives. A vast majority of people make the transition to the married state, while a few become religious or pursue an ordained ministry. In all of these states of life, we are called to give witness to God’s presence. No vocation is greater than another; rather, they are different means to get closer to God.
In the Gospel, Jesus commissions Simon Peter to be a “fisher of men”. We, too, are called to invite others to experience God’s love and mercy. This is what the new evangelization is all about: Inviting others to encounter Christ.
There are many ways to do this. Probably the most effective is to be Christ for others. In other words, we must live Christ in all that we do and say. Our actions speak louder than words. Ask yourself, “Do I walk the talk? Do people see Christ within me?” We are encouraged to educate ourselves about who Christ is for us. As we become more like the Master, people notice. As we grow in holiness, people want to follow along. Secondly, we should try to associate with others who are on a faith journey. The old saying “birds of a feather flock together” can be taken in a positive sense. If we associate with likeminded individuals, it helps to shape and form our outlook on life. When we hang out with holy people we become holier. When we associate with those who call us to conversion, we become converted. A third way is to talk to people about what God has done or is doing in your life. Don’t be afraid to share the Good News and encourage others to seek out Christ. Not that you have to become a prophet or televangelist, but suggest to others that when they are seeking answers to life’s problems, God can provide them. Recognize that all we have is gift. God gives us talent and possessions in order that we can have a good life and lead others to Christ. Don’t squander your gifts. Give credit where it is due and encourage others to do the same.
This Wednesday begins our Lenten journey. What are some of your goals and desires? How do you want to be transformed this Lent and what will you do to make this happen?