A reflection on what God is inviting us to experience in our vocation or pursuit of our vocation TODAY. Written for the 2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Audio credit: Seth LeMaire, Diocese of Lafayete, LA.
Lyrics in Latin
Locus iste a Deo factus est,
This is the Lord’s house, which He hath made,
It is beyond reproof
In a world where it seems like nothing is enough for us, it’s easy to believe that a religious vocation couldn’t be for us. We distance ourselves from the truth by saying, “Oh, I’m not holy enough to have a vocation,” or “I don’t pray enough to have a vocation,” or worse yet, “I’m not worthy enough to have a vocation.” We have lost sigh of the truth that it’s precisely through our vocations that God wants us to become as holy as we can, to dive deep into a life of prayer and to show us how worthy we are of not just love, but His love.
"…by sending out his disciples, Jesus calls /all people/ to come together around him."
God so wants us to be gathered around him for the rest of eternity, that he gifts us with our particular vocation (priesthood, consecrated life, marriage or the generous single life). God knows that through the pursuit, or rather this journey of our vocation, we will become holy. We will learn to pray, and we will know of his love.
Every journey has a first step; the moment when you cross the threshold and step into the unknown. The start of the vocational journey is marked by the bold statement “I will follow!” It acknowledges that God has walked this journey ahead of us and laid the path for us to travel. It expresses the desire to leave behind what was, in pursuit of what will be, while being present to what is. It is the manifesto of discipleship.
This year, and for many years to come, we want to walk this journey with you. Because this road is not meant to be travelled alone, we want to be there, not just for you, but with you as you face the questions, hurdles and stumbles. We will be there, saying with one voice “I will follow!”
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit."
Each step of the journey will be marked by joy and peace. Even in the midst of hardship and suffering, God, who is our hope will be filling us with his joy and peace. We can see evidence of this in the first apostles and our Blessed Mother and for that reason, we chose them to illustrate what comes from proclaiming this three-word manifesto.
Throughout this coming year, we’ll unpack the virtues, empowerment, and joy these first pilgrims modeled for us on their vocational journeys; journeys that started in an extraordinary way, but were lived out in everyday ordinary. The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Jesus giving the keys of heaven to Peter are fantastic moments in our faith that have everyday effects even now, 2,000 years after the fact. Therefore, we’ll also share with you stories from today that echo the same truths that come to be known when we follow Christ to Heaven.
"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me."
God doesn’t promise us an easy journey. However, he does promise one that is blessed and graced with his love. His love is one that desires our joy and fulfillment even more than we do. We’re honored to share our journey for you and for you to share yours with us. Let us step out into this blessed and joyful journey as we cry out together “I will follow!”