MICHAEL KASSNER, Obl.OSB
Our calling may or may not be that clear. What is clear is that everyone is here for a reason – that we each have a purpose.
What is Your Calling?
The fact each of us has a calling may come as a surprise to some. Through our baptism, we are summoned to know, love and serve the Lord – what Pope John Paul II, in his apostolic exhortation ChristifidelesLaici, calls a “vocation to holiness.” Pope John Paul II goes on to mention that this call to holiness is not merely a moral urging, but an undeniable requirement arising from the mystery of the Church. The Church is a choice vine, and we are branches live and grow with the same holy and life-giving energies that come from Christ.
The author of First Peter mentions, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1: 14-16)
As faithful servants of God, our task then becomes discerning our particular calling. Scripture states that after his baptism by John, Jesus began to fulfill prophecy as a servant leader. Our calling may or may not be that clear. What is clear is that everyone is here for a reason – that we each have a purpose.
Oskar Schindler is a great example. Schindler started out helping Jews because they were good workers. As Holocaust brutality increased, Schindler escalated his protection of the Jewish workers. “Beyond this day, no thinking person could fail to see what would happen,” Schindler said later. “I was now resolved to do everything in my power to defeat the system.” It seems that a simple business decision became Schindler’s calling.
As to the details of our individual callings, that is deeply personal. Whether that means ordained ministry, consecrated life, married life, or single life, we must each make that discernment. That said, the above vocations share the following:
To live in the image of God: We are called to mirror God in His creation, which means caring for and cultivating the world. This calling is best fulfilled in community – particularly, through our extended families where we inherit our name, language, identity, and are surrounded by support from cradle to grave.
To revive the image of God: As Christians, we must use our talents on behalf of that society considers marginal or unworthy. Where God’s Word is unknown, we need to find ways to proclaim Jesus as the world’s true Lord and “the image of the invisible God.”
In the end, it matters most that we understand we have a calling and how that affects who we are, how we touch others, and how we make the most of whatever God gives us each and every day.