“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) From the beginning God knew each and every person who has been created, or who will ever be created. God knew the color of our eyes, the quirk in our personality that annoys our friends, and the particular passionate interest in our hobby that no one else seems to really understand.
In fact, we know that God built this world with incredible care. From the acorn to the ape to the Archangel, everything proclaims that God is a master-builder; a “detail” person, who never does anything arbitrarily. This God, who is so particular in His designs, has a particular reason that He made you.
We often speak of “vocations”. What does that word mean? I would say that we are often tempted to view vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life as “jobs.” This is, I think, too simple. Life as a Priest is more akin to life as a husband and a father: it is something we are, not something we do.
Today marks the beginning of National Vocation Awareness Week. This week was instituted to present Priesthood and Religious Life as real possibilities; to remind us that anyone could be called to Priesthood or Consecrated Life. But this week was also instituted to remind us that God has a particular vocation for each person.
From before humans built the Pyramids, God was thinking of Curtis, and planning how He would offer the life of Priesthood to Him. God was thinking of Celeste, and planning how He would let her become a Religious Sister. Everything that God has ever done, He has done so that Alex and Jane could meet and marry. (God can do that!)
Our vocation (Priesthood, Religious Life, Married Life, etc.) is the role that God is asking us to play in His plan for the world; in His-Story. We, the entire Church pray that those who have not yet discovered their vocation may have the courage to ask God: “What is the purpose you have made me for?” We, also, as a Church, pray that all people (Priests, Religious, Married) may have the fortitude to live our their vocation faithfully.
Father Steven Walker Parochial Vicar, St. Philip Catholic Church