|October 27, 2014 • VOL. 52, NO. 18 • Oakland, CA|
|National Vocations Awareness Week
Come to the banquet:
Recognize and call each other to serve
WELCOME TO THE BANQUET! A month ago I was attending a conference that was held in Long Island, New York for vocation directors. At the opening dinner Cardinal Dolan came to my table and reached over the shoulder of the person seated next to me and, without asking, snatched a chunk of his New York style soft pretzel and ran the piece across the cheese sauce of my uneaten hotdog that was before me. It was Cardinal Dolan's way of saying to all of us, "Welcome to the Banquet".
A Christian vocation builds up the Body of Christ and infuses the world with God's love. A career serves the individual and their deepest needs and wants.
Our Christian baptism means we live our lives to build up the Kingdom of God here on earth. My vocation as a Christian has brought me to serve as a chaplain in the Air Force, the vicar for priests for the Diocese for Oakland and now the director for vocations.
My role as the director for vocations is to support your vocation in life be that married, single, lay apostolate, religious life and priesthood.
Sometimes God requires our participation to bring God's work about. Recall the feeding of the 5,000 and how Jesus sent his disciples out to see how much food there was and the disciples returned with the five loaves and two fishes. Jesus sent them out again to distribute the loaves and fishes that fed the 5,000 and again to collect what remained after everyone had eaten their fill.
You and I are called to participate in encouraging others in the Body of Christ: The banquet is more than pretzels and cheese dogs; it involves recognizing and calling each other to serving.
(Father Clemens is director of vocations in the Oakland diocese and parochial administrator at St. Paschal Baylon Parish in Oakland.)
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