The Christian Vocation
The liturgical year is beginning, and the introit of the Mass invites us to consider something closely related to the beginning of our christian life: the vocation we have all received. “Make me to know your ways, o Lord; teach me your paths.”
We ask the Lord to guide us, to show us his footprints, so we can set out to attain the fullness of his commandments, which is charity.
In considering the circumstances surrounding your decision to make every effort to live your faith, I imagine that you, like me, will thank our Lord. I know too that, without falling into false humility, this thankfulness will leave you even more convinced that you have merited nothing of this on your own. Usually we learn to invoke God as a young child from our christian parents. Later, teachers, friends and acquaintances have helped us in many ways not to lose sight of our Lord.
Open your own hearts to Jesus and tell him your story. I don’t want to generalize. But one day perhaps an ordinary Christian, just like you, opened your eyes to horizons both deep and new, yet as old as the Gospel. He suggested to you the prospect of following Christ earnestly, seriously, of becoming an apostle of apostles. Perhaps you lost your balance then and didn’t recover it. Your complacency wasn’t quite replaced by true peace until you freely said “yes” to God, because you wanted to, which is the most supernatural of reasons. And in its wake came a strong, constant joy, which disappears only when you abandon him.
I don’t like to speak of someone being singled out to be part of a privileged elect. But it is Christ who speaks, who chooses. It is the language of holy Scripture: “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy,” St Paul tells us.
I know that such thoughts don’t fill you with pride nor lead you to think yourself better than other men. That choice, the root of our vocation, should be the basis of our humility. Do we build monuments to an artist’s paintbrush? Granted the brush had a part in creating masterpieces, but we give credit only to the painter. We Christians are nothing more than instruments in the hands of the creator of the world, of the redeemer of all men.
“The Christian Vocation” is an excerpt from the homily given by St. Josemaria Escriva on December 2, 1951, first Sunday of Advent. The homily is published by Scepter Publishers in the book Christ is Passing By. It is reproduced here with permission from © Studium Foundation (www.escrivaworks.org).