We often hear that everyone has a vocation. But it is not entirely right! It is more accurate to say that everyone is a vocation. Our very existence is called by God. A star would not exist if God had not placed it in the galaxy. Here is a line from the book of Baruch. God listens to the stars cry out: ‘Here we are! Here we are! (3:34). The stars say ‘yes’ to God. Every life is a ‘yes’ to God.
As humans we do not say ‘yes’ by our existence. We are invited to say yes with our words and actions. God speaks creation into being.
God called Moses and he replied: ‘Here I am’. God called Isaiah and he replied: ‘Send me’. God called Mary and she replied: ‘let what you have said be done’. Our vocation is to listen to God’s call.
We live in a time of loss of confidence and credibility. A life of commitment to marriage, religious life or priesthood is questioned. Pope Francis offers in Gaudete et Exsultate a memorable line for us that describes humanity combined with holiness: ‘It is the holiness of the person next door, that of the small gestures, that of the beatitude of the Gospel’.
He reminds us that holiness is not elitist or an imposed burden. It is an invitation to every human life, to know that each one of us is personally called, chosen and named by God for a kind purpose. Our vocation is to answer this kind invitation.
The Bible is an inventory of ‘vocations’ of God’s extravagant love for people. God makes use of whatever means he can to draw us close to his love – from floods, storms, a gentle breeze to a newborn baby lying in a manger. Here, God comes without power. God, in the sleep of a newborn child, throws our power-hungry world and Church into disarray. God’s word is his love letter to us which spells VOCATION.
Canon Francis Brown