A Vocation to Hope

You have an inheritance waiting for you from God.

Do you believe it?

We live in a time when there is a serious loss of hope. People do not think that there is a job out there for them. People do not think that there is a loving spouse out there for them. People do not think that God is really out there for them. Many do not think that they have anything useful to give to others. And so, many people wander through life in darkness. They are shut off from experiencing God’s call, because they are without hope.

This attitude runs contrary to the openess of vocational discernment. When we are open to finding our life’s vocation, we are, by definition, showing hope for the future. After all, why would you pray for God to reveal a vocation for you if you didn’t believe He had a great plan for your life? If you believed that the future held only dark, unpleasant things, why would you be willing to pray for a vocation at all? Searching for a vocation includes trust in the God that is the author of the vocation. We have hope that He knows us, and loves us. He will lead us rightly.

It is very difficult to create what might be called, “vocation awareness”. Many people simply shrug off the idea that they have a special calling from God. They simply go on their merry way, doing as they please, not giving God a second thought. Why do so many reject the concept of a vocation? Could it be because they have no hope? Could it be because they have been worn down by the world, and its disappointments? Many simply persue personal ambitions and sensual pleasures in an attempt to guard their own turf. If the world is hard, I might as well take care of myself! Or worse yet, some look to others to enable their self-destructive behaviors.

Into this rather dim and hopeless existance, Jesus speaks the words, “It is not you who have chosen me, but I who have chosen you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” (John 15:16). The good news is that God is actively choosing us, pursuing us, calling us. We simply need to listen, and we will hear God calling us! There is something better here in this world. There is something more than simply taking care of #1. You have a future! We have a future! There is a life to be discovered and lived. There is a reason for hope!

When we think of promoting vocations, we think of programs, and speaking engagements, and youth rallies. But how can each of us help to open up the eyes of young people to a vocation? Maybe if we simply gave people a reason for hope, more young men and women would begin discerning a vocation. How do we give others a reason for hope? In our actions, in our words, and in our judgments of others, we can encourage others to have hope. We need to talk, act, and think as if the future will be bright and blessed. This can be difficult in our part of the country, so negatively affected by the loss of jobs and of youth. But, both for ourselves and for others, we must show real hope! Why should we have hope? We have hope because Christ has chosen us, and He has good plans for us. Regardless of life’s painful circumstances, this is a fact that can never be taken away. Share hope. Open someone’s eyes. Sow the seeds of a vocation.

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About erievocations

I am a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, PA. I am an Assistant Vocations Director, tasked with the promotion of seminary recruitment. My blog deals with discernment of vocations, especially to the priesthood, as well as our universal call to be holy.
This entry was posted in Inspiration for Vocations, Praying for a Vocation. Bookmark the permalink.

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