By Fr. Roy Cimagala
THE Feast of St. Matthew, one of the apostles, celebrated on September 21, reminds us that all of us has a vocation. We are all called by God, which is what vocation means, since we come from God and we are meant to belong to God—in fact, in a most special way, since of all his creatures, we are the ones made in his image and likeness, sharers in his divine life and divine nature.
Yes, God calls all of us to be with him. That is why he can call anyone of us anytime. That calling may appear to be done at random, as what may appear in the case of St. Matthew. He was just sitting by his tax collector’s table, and Christ happened to pass by, and from out of the blue, just asked Matthew to follow him. (cfr. Mt 9,9-13)
We need to be more aware of this element of vocation in our life. We cannot deny that many do not know this reality. And of those who know, many think it is only for some special people, and that vocation only means some special, if not extraordinary, calling from God given to someone special.
We need to widen and deepen our understanding of vocation, and spread it around as extensively as possible, so hopefully many can correspond to it as they should. We have to understand that our vocation is a most important element in our life, since it is meant to direct and shape our life here on earth, as we journey towards our eternal home in heaven with God.
Let’s always remember that our vocation can come in different ways and forms. Some are called to the priesthood, others to a religious life, but most of us will be called in our state of being ordinary citizens in the world. Yes, the husband, the wife, the children, the farmer, office worker, politician, businessman, etc., do have a vocation.
And when this sense of vocation is sharp and abiding, we would realize always that every event in our life, everything that happens in our life, is actually an encounter with God who is always calling us to be with him. In other words, everything in our life is an occasion to seek sanctity and to do apostolate, which is what being with God means.
Let’s sharpen our awareness that God continues to be with us, and while respecting our freedom always, he calls us to him, for it is him, more than us, who directs and shapes our life. This is the essence of vocation—God calling us to share his life and activity with us.
Let’s always remember that God created us for a purpose. He did not create us just to leave us on our own. He created us to participate in his life and in his love which is the essence of God.
This is what a vocation is. It is God inviting us to be with him, to correspond to the reality that God is already with us and wants us to actively participate in his plan for each one of us, which can assume an infinite variety of forms and ways.
Since God lives in eternity, his call to us, though discovered and carried out in time, springs also in eternity. In short, if we cooperate with him, we can say that what he starts with us will also be completed by him.
So, there’s really nothing to worry. Our sense of vocation actually puts us in the best condition in our life here on earth.