Call to Conversion and Vocation
Jesus proclaims conversion. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus calls his first apostles. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of people.” These two moments – of conversion and vocation – have a determining importance in the life of every Christian. The whole purpose of life and salvation develops inwardly in every Christian. To this end, St. Paul reminds us that we must keep in mind how short our life is here on earth.
Conversion is a turning point which makes a positive change in the direction of our life and behaviour. Here conversion for all of us means turning away from evil, sin and anything that does not promote a good life. This is a key moment in the interior life of every person and the starting point of every spiritual journey. Thus, a vocation is found by way of conversion.
‘Follow me’ was not a command but primarily an invitation. Fishing was an important occupation, but Jesus called these Galileans to a more important occupation. His call was not a call to a life of ease but to a life of sacrifice. And as fishermen, they were well acquainted with hardship and sacrifice. He invited them to use and apply the competence, efficiency and dedication which they put into catching fish, now into calling others to Jesus.
Before their call, they all had a career of fishing, but now they would have a vocation. A career can be self-serving, while a vocation is focused on serving others. The fact that they all accepted this challenging call immediately and whole-heartedly, tells us a lot about their personality, nature of commitment and dedication. Nevertheless, they were simple, ordinary men and not supermen. Certainly, they were not perfect, but had their share of faults and failings as we notice from the scriptures. However, Jesus called them all in spite of their faults because Jesus saw a great potential in them. No one ever believed in the ordinary people as much as Jesus did. And so, one doesn’t have to be an exceptional person to be a disciple of Jesus.
Jesus still calls people today because the need is as great as ever. Why not consider responding to that need? Instead of wasting one’s life on the secondary goods of possessions, prestige, power and pleasure, as far too many are doing, why not make the leap of faith and consider giving your life away to the Lord, as a way of finding a life full of purpose, deep meaning, peace and joy?
These few examples are for references.
- The prophet Elisha received his vocation as he was ploughing his field (1 Kings 19:19)
- Moses, David and Amos were grazing their sheep when God called them
- Samuel was ministering to the Lord. (1 Samuel 3:1)
- Gideon was beating out wheat (Judges 6:11)
- Saul was returning from the fields with his oxen (1 Samuel 11:5)
- Mathew was busy in his tax office (Luke 5:27)
- Paul got his call when he was on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9)
All these people were called in the midst of their ordinary occupations. They responded to God by leaving something good and finding something better. By responding to God’s call in our lives we too will know the completion of our joy.
By Susai Jesu, OMI
Vocation Team – Contact West
Phone: (587) 335-2015