The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Are YOU called to religious life?

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
Before you were born I consecrated you."

Jeremiah 1:4-5

Today is World Day for Consecrated Life, and today's Mass readings (Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19; 1Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 4:21-30), each in their own way, highlight specific aspects of religious vocation. First, in Jeremiah, we hear God's call in intimate fashion. God forms us. He chooses us. Then he consecrates--or qualifies--us. We are not the master of our lives. We are chosen when and how God chooses, wherever we are and whatever we are like, for reasons God alone knows and fulfills. And God qualifies us for the task he has appointed after choosing us; we do not have to be qualified--or holy--first.

In the second reading, St. Paul expounds beautifully on the origin, meaning, and purpose of any vocation--love.

Finally, in the Gospel of Luke, we are offered a glimpse of the sort of challenges that following a call to a religious vocation will necessarily entail. The people of Jesus' own hometown, the people who "knew" him best, reject him, even trying to kill him. But they can't, we are told, because Jesus mysteriously "passed through the midst of them." Later on in Jerusalem, Jesus is killed by his own people, but once again he mysteriously escapes the reality of death in grand fashion by rising from the dead and giving hope of redemption to all. God's inherent message for the one who is called circles back to a line from the first reading in Jeremiah: "They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you."

If one is called to a religious vocation, God will provide everything he or she needs to fulfill his purpose. Do not be afraid.

Perhaps God is calling YOU to religious life? Perhaps even as a monk of Saint Meinrad? If so, come and see, and do not be afraid, for God is with you.

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