CALLED TO CALL OTHERS...
2018 World Day of Vocations
On Good Shepherd Sunday this year, all the Christian communities will celebrate the 55th World Day of Vocations.The message of Pope Francis, entitled “Listening, discerning, living the call of the Lord”, is in line with the forthcoming Synod of Bishops (October 2018), which will be dedicated to young people, especially to the relationship between young people, faith and vocation. This is the good news of this day: at the center of our lives there is the call to joy that God addresses to us. Pope Francis writes: “We are not victims of chance or swept up in a series of unconnected events; on the contrary, our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation! … In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, … there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness”.
In the Gospel, Jesus does not demand the same form of sequela from everyone. The secret of every vocation lies in the capacity to, and joy of, distinguishing, listening and following the personal call of God in our daily life. As missionaries we are characterized by movement, not by sitting down. The journey of the sequela and the mission is always new. The exercise of reading and rereading our life in the light of God makes us more sensitive to the vocation we have received and to the appeals that He directs to us; even through our failures, hesitations and the ambiguities of our choices. Mounier writes: “God is so great that He can make a vocation even out of our errors”. In our difficulties, let us not forget that He who has called us is faithful, and let us be persuaded that He who began this work in us will bring it to perfection (Fil 1,6).
The happiness the Lord offers us with His call is for everyone. In Luke 9:24, we read: “Then, speaking to all, he said: «If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, will save it» (cf. Lk 17:33). The foundation of vocation is the love of God who lost himself for us, making us capable of becoming free. Vocation therefore is not a right, nor is it something that can be bought at the supermarket of charisms. The consequence of acknowledging that vocation comes from God’s love is, first of all, not self-seeking, but the greater service to the Kingdom of God and the Church. The stronger my tendency to seek myself, to create my own life history, the more I will be mistaken about my vocation.
Today the Lord continues to call to His service. The joy of being found by God’s love, and our enthusiasm for the vocation we have received, inspires us – as individuals and communities – to pray and to help others to find their vocation in the joy of the Gospel (RMX 82.2; 83.1). When we help someone to find, we also find ourselves. Woe betide us if we were to become people who find God and then withdraw into themselves. We would immediately lose whatever we have found. We hope that every Xaverian can be a seeker of vocations, happy to awaken in people a free and personal response to Gods’ love.