Vocation is for all

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

INDEED, everyone has a vocation! The idea of a vocation is not meant only for a few who may feel that they are called to the priesthood or to a consecrated religious life. It is not meant for those who may be generally regarded as inclined to do some missionary work.

We are reminded of this truth of our faith in that gospel episode where Christ, after a night of prayer, chose 12 persons to be his apostles. (cfr. Lk 6,12-19) Ever wondered why Christ chose his apostles practically randomly? He, for example, would just pass by Matthew in his tax collector’s table and say, “Come, follow me,” without as much checking on Matthew’s background.

Same with brothers Peter and Andrew, and James and John. Christ would just call them, and without asking any question they simply left their nets, for they were fishermen, and followed Christ.

In the end, he would also call Judas Iscariot who would later betray him. Christ, being God, would have known that Judas would turn him in. But that did not deter him. He called Judas to be one of his 12 apostles just the same.

The only reason I can find for this behavior of Christ is that he has the right to call anyone and everyone to follow him. And that’s simply because, as God, he has that right since all of us come from him and belong to him. As redeemer, he calls everyone to follow him.

Everyone has a vocation simply because God calls all of us to be holy, to be like him who created us in his image and likeness. Everyone is called to holiness. The call to holiness is universal!

That’s what a vocation is—it is a calling from God who puts us here on earth to be tested, to see if what God wants us to be is also what we would like ourselves to be. Thus, everyone should be aroused to develop a sense of vocation as early as possible, and pursue it with the strongest sense of commitment, since our vocation is the most basic commitment we ought to have.

We have to realize that our vocation is meant to cover all our life, in all its aspects, and not just some parts of our life. Our vocation gives meaning to our whole life, and projects us to our proper destiny.

Nothing is excluded from it, since God’s presence and interventions in our life are constant and abiding, and not just from time to time, nor from case to case. It covers our whole life, from beginning to end.

A person without a sense of vocation is actually an anomaly. He may be described as a freeloader who ignores a basic truth about himself and enjoys or suffers the many things in life without knowing what these things are really meant for.

Obviously, each one has to find out the specific vocation meant for him. Our common vocation lends itself to various specific vocations with their own spirituality and charism, supported by their corresponding way of life or culture. Each one of us should just study and see which one he is more suited.

There’s, of course, a vocation to the priesthood and the religious life. But for most of the people, their vocation is to remain in the secular world as lay faithful who use all the events and circumstances of his life as a way to live out his vocation. They, of course, would need a supporting plan of life that can sustain their sense of vocation.

             Email: roycimagala@gmail.com