Friday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings:  Gen 17:1, 9f, 15-22; Mt 8:1-4

A vocation is a call to live a good life. It is a call to live one’s life well, in a way that has meaning and purpose. That it gives meaning and purpose indicates that it is a life worth suffering challenges, frustrations, and setbacks. We can’t always give a reason why. It just is. It must have something to do with the one who calls. The One who calls is Love. Love has two desires: it desires the good of the other and it desires union with the beloved.

A vocation is a call to live from the third level of the heart: from an attraction to commitment and contribution. It is not about making a living; it is about making a life. It is not about self-satisfaction, but about usefulness to others. We think more about giving than taking; more about responding to the needs of others than safeguarding our own. It changes how we see ourselves and our place in the world. It changes the choices we make and the reasons we have for making them. It does this because our decisions must serve the calling that we have committed to.

That’s how I recall it happening to me. All of this happens because we are slowly, often imperceptibly becoming like the one who calls. A vocation is a kind of conversion. The highest form of conversion is commonly called “falling in love.” The caller’s presence is a frequent distraction that leads us to smile without an apparent cause. That’s what a man does when he is in love.