Study: Reflect on an experience in life when you have been called to do something. Who called you? What did it feel like?
Pray: Ask the Lord for guidance to discern how to follow Jesus Christ today.
Serve: Are there people in your life who are experiencing a calling? How can you help them discover their path?
Have you ever had moments in life when you wish the answers were written in the sky with letters that were clear and easy to read? Where there is no doubt what to do; no hesitation that a certain choice is the best; no worry that something has been missed? The question surfaces frequently: How do we know the Lord’s call for our lives?
In the Scriptures today we have two examples where people are being called by God:
- The call of Samuel in the temple of the Lord
- The call of two of John the Baptist’s disciples by Jesus
While each story presents a perspective that is unique, both have some points that are worth noting:
- God takes the initiative. It is the Lord who begins the encounter, speaking Samuel’s name or asking the disciples, “What are you looking for?”
- There is a human response. Samuel calls out, “Here I am” while the disciples begin a conversation, “Where are you staying?”
- A call to action. Both Samuel and disciples do something. Samuel reaches out to Eli; the disciples stay with Jesus and one of them (Andrew) brings his brother Peter to meet the Lord.
The same three steps continue today. God keeps inviting! The Lord’s grace ceaselessly pours out upon the earth, inviting and empowering us to draw closer to God and one another. Everything we have comes from the Lord, who takes the initiative to reach out to us in love.
Our response – both in word and deed – completes this initiative. Accepting the Lord’s call we grow in wisdom and strength, developing our God-given gifts for service in the world. As we continue to say yes to the Lord’s guidance we become more and more alive, become a conduit through which Christ’s mission touches the hearts and lives of others.
So how and where does the Lord speak today? Where do we look for the call? A few starting thoughts…
- Start by reading the Scriptures! (It is the Word of God, after all.) I recommend first digging into the Gospels.
- Pray everyday. It doesn’t have to be very long, but it does have to be real and from your heart. Take a couple of minutes to count your blessings, make your petitions, and close with the Lord’s Prayer.
- Reach out to people of faith for fellowship & strength. (Remember: united we stand!)
- Go to Confession. It’s a powerful way to begin again with God’s help.
- Go to Mass weekly. (Let’s see: get a Sacrament; hear God’s Word; pray alone and with others; fellowship; with a little peace & silence…not a bad gig.)
May we say yes to the Lord’s call in our lives, responding with full and open hearts, serving one another with the strength of Jesus Christ!
Note: This post was originally published on January 12, 2015.