By Fr. Roy Cimagala
FAMOUS words of Christ that present to us the stark reality of our condition here on earth. (cfr. Mt 9,37) There are just so many things to do and accomplish in our life and yet there are only a few hands to do them.
Speaking alone of our temporal affairs, not to mention our ultimate spiritual and supernatural goal, the challenge we face is indeed overwhelming. But let’s have a faith-based hope and do whatever we can to meet the challenge as adequately as possible.
For this, we need to develop a keen sense of vocation. It should be clear to all that everyone has a vocation. Everyone is called by God to carry out a mission that ultimately is a matter of our salvation. That, of course, involves our sanctification and our part in the continuing redemption of mankind by doing apostolate.
To be sure, no one comes to existence by mere accident nor by pure chance and divine caprice. God does not create us at random. Even a person who is considered unwanted by his parents or is conceived through rape is already a person planned and loved by God from all eternity. This is a fundamental truth about ourselves that we should never take for granted.
Thus, we should try to develop this sense of vocation as early as possible. And this can mean as early as when one is still a child, already beginning to be aware of what and who he or she is. This normally should start in the family, with the parents playing a major role in this affair since they are our first teachers here on earth.
The parents should be quick in sowing the seeds of this sense of vocation by making the child aware that he or she just did not come from them but from God. And that he or she also belongs to God. This basic truth should always be reinforced all throughout the process of bringing up and educating the child.
The parents should therefore plant the rudiments of piety in their children, mainly through their example and with them doing the appropriate catechesis. Their children should see them praying and having a special and pious regard to God. When the children see the love between them and feel their parents’ love for them, then the children will find it easy to relate themselves with God in faith and love.
This is a big challenge for the parents nowadays since, with so many fascinating developments around, the children can easily fall into self-absorption and self-indulgence. The parents should be ready to handle this danger very well. They should come out with appropriate plans and means to help their children become God-centered instead of self-centered.
Only in this atmosphere of piety should the topic of vocation be brought up directly with the children, explaining the why and wherefore of it. The children should be made aware that God has a particular vocation for them and that they have the duty to discover it. Of course, this has to be done in a gradual way, without putting pressure on the children.
We need to understand the real character of our vocation. It is about 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.