Christ calls everyone of us

Back in primary school, vocation was as straightforward as if God had left a calling card on your desk. You knew the kid in the third row, second seat, was called. You knew it because she had Sister written all over her or because he served at the altar as piously as the statues to the right and left of the sanctuary. You knew who was called and who wasn’t. The girl who chewed gum during class and wore her skirt rolled up was definitely not called. Me the boy who smoked cigarettes behind school and was always in trouble, I could not be the one God wanted. The called were the few, the brave, the otherworldly.

But vocation cannot be so narrowly defined. Jesus says his sheep hear his voice, which means we are all called. Whether we listen is another matter. But the call is issued broadly. We are called into union with God. We called into relationship with each other.

God’s signature is scrawled across the whole class, from the pious kid to the bully, across the weirdo and the popular student alike. The kid in the third row may have a vocation to religious life, but each of us receives the invitation to holy living. How we live that out will vary greatly, but that doesn’t mean God desires anyone of us less than another.

This means our lives matter -a lot. What we do with our time and energy and love matters. Our decisions count. We ought to be on a spiritual journey and not be half-hearted about it. God isn’t a hobby but our ultimate destiny.

In this Easter season; Jesus calls out to all his sheep -not just the “professional” religious or the preordained saints among us, but every one of us: the confused and the conflicted, the lost and the lax, the unloved and the unappreciated. Every life here was created by God for one reason: to manifest his love for all. That is the ultimate test of a vocation that is the Good Shepherd’s call to everyone in his flock. In the “busyness” and stress of our lives, in the challenges of being a parent or child, a professional or labourer, a teacher or student, Christ calls every one of us to a life of holiness and fulfilment.

Let our prayer this day be:

May God grant us attentive hearts that listen to the Lord who shepherds us.
May God grant us gracious hearts that know how to shepherd
and always bring out the very best from our brothers and sisters.